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Regime change via Western bombing : Libya on the brink

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        • April 21, 2011 -- Since the outbreak of the Libyan uprising on February 17th, some 5,000 Mauritanian citizens fled the violence and returned home. But their homecoming has not been easy. Many left all their possessions behind, forcing the evacuees to readapt to life in their homeland with no income and no property. "The situation is truly tragic," said Mohamed Vall Ould Khalifa, a spokesman for those recently returned from Libya. "Some people used to support others, now they need to be supported. Those who used to offer assistance now need a hand-out. The number of arrivals from Libya is increasing by the day." Ould Khalifa was once one of thousands of Mauritanians who earned a decent living in Libya, working as a manager for a German company for 17 years. From plumbers and mechanics to teachers and engineers, working under Moamer Kadhafi provided a steady income. "But I lost everything after the camp of the company was plundered and my personal possessions were confiscated," Ould Khalifa told Magharebia. "Now, I do not own anything after losing my $11,000 fortune."

          Of those lucky enough to escape the fratricidal conflict, many face an uncertain future. That has led some returnees to stage protests outside the presidential palace in Nouakchott, demanding land and job opportunities. Those returning from Libya must "be integrated in the matrix of economy and development," Ould Khalifa said. "We are looking for a person or an authority to speak to, so they would play a role in resolving this issue. We are in lost in a labyrinth of winding roads that is taking ever so long," he added. The case of the Sidi Mahmoud Ould Mekki family stands as a vivid example of the deteriorating conditions for returnees from Libya. The family, with seven sons and four daughters, was forced to leave Tripoli and head back to Nouakchott after 29 years in Libya. They found themselves in a modest home in the Arafat neighbourhood, having lost everything; work, school and family savings. "I was born in Libya in 1986, and was studying medicine in Az-Zawiyah, in western Libya," Abdellahi said. "Suddenly, I was forced to drop school to return to Mauritania, which I have never been to before. I applied to the ministry of education for a grant to complete my studies in another country, but did not receive a reply till now." Abdellahi's story was no different from that of his father, Sidi Mahmoud, who said he worked in construction in the city of Sabha. "Suddenly, the revolution broke out and I found myself compelled to return to my country, which I left in 1982. The company where I worked paid me no compensation, so I had to go home with no property."

          The Mauritanian government has only provided flights to transport evacuees to Nouakchott where their names were registered. According to Hamoud Ould Nebagh, vice-president of a government human rights committee, the transfer cost the state "a lot of money in light of the world economic crisis". He argued that Mauritanians should appreciate "this humanitarian gesture". "How can citizens who were rescued and returned to their homeland claim additional rights? What are those rights?" he wondered. But ordinary citizens remain unconvinced. "I returned home from Libya penniless," Mubarek Ould Mohamed, a father of nine children, said. "My wife and I go out every day to sit in before the governor's headquarters and sometimes in front of the presidential palace."

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              • April 22, 2011 -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday (April 21st) authorised the use of armed Predator drones in airstrikes against pro-Kadhafi forces. On Friday, Republican senator John McCain will be in Benghazi on Friday to meet with representatives of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC), AP reported. In other news Thursday, Libyan rebels took control of the Dhiba crossing post at the Tunisian border, The Guardian reported. The border post is close to the mountainous western area of Libya that has been under siege for two months. Some 14,000 people have fled the region in the past fortnight, the UNHCR said.

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                          • Sonia Lyes :


                            Vendredi 22 Avril 2011 -- Péniblement, timidement et toujours aussi peu convaincant, Mourad Medelci, ministre des Affaires étrangères, a tenté une nouvelle fois ce vendredi de répondre aux accusations du CNT libyen. Alors que les accusations du CNT se font persistantes, avec notamment une plainte déposée cette semaine auprès de la Ligue arabe, M. Medelci, invité à midi de la Chaîne III de la radio nationale, s’est contenté de rappeler les principes de la position algérienne sur la crise libyenne : ne pas «émettre d’opinion politique» et soutenir une «solution politique» sous l’égide de l’ONU.

                            Toujours sur la défensive, Mourad Medelci a répété que l’Algérie avait «apporté les démentis les plus clairs» concernant les accusations de mercenariat et de soutien au régime de Kadhafi. Ce sont «des manœuvres dilatoires basées sur des agendas qui n’ont rien à voir avec la crise libyenne», a‑t‑il expliqué sans préciser de quels agendas il s’agit. «Nous avons, au niveau du ministère des Affaires étrangères, apporté les démentis les plus clairs à ces accusations. Au-delà, nous avons eu à exprimer notre conviction au sujet de ces accusations que nous considérons dilatoires, basées sur des agendas qui n'ont rien à voir avec l'affaire libyenne. Elles sont beaucoup plus anciennes que la crise en Libye, cela est très clair».

                            Il a affirmé avoir abordé le sujet avec des partenaires étrangers, dont le ministre français Alain Juppé. «M. Juppé a considéré comme peu crédibles ce qu’il a considéré comme des rumeurs», a‑t‑il expliqué. Ce n’est pas tout à fait ce qu’avait affirmé Alain Juppé aux journalistes après l’entretien avec Mourad Medelci. Une médiatisation de l’entretien que le ministre algérien n’a d’ailleurs pas condamnée directement. Il a seulement affirmé qu’il «n’est pas de tradition que deux ministres se parlent et puis disent tout le lendemain sauf s'il ya une conférence de presse et nous n’étions pas dans cette hypothèse». Mourad Medelci a dit que l’entretien a porté essentiellement sur les relations bilatérales, affirmant avoir échangé des invitations réciproques de visites. Mourad Medelci a affirmé que les relations entre Alger et Paris «ne sont pas tendues» même si les deux pays ont «sur certains dossiers des approches différentes».

                            Concernant la crise Libyenne, M. Medelci a affirmé qu’Alger et Paris partagent l’idée qu’il n’y a pas de solution en dehors de la politique. «Avec M. Juppé, nous avons convenu qu’il n y pas de solution en dehors de la politique. Cette conviction, je crois l’avoir partagée avec M. Juppé». Au sujet des conséquences de la crise libyenne sur le terrorisme, le ministre algérien a indiqué que «le risque n’est pas exagéré». «Ce qui se passe en Libye peut avoir des conséquences. Cela peut donner des ailles au terrorisme». Tout comme il n’a pas exclu qu’il y ait des liens avec les récents attentats commis à Azazga et à Boumerdès. «Je ne l’exclus pas, mais je ne le confirme pas».

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