Bloomberg 16/8/2011

  • Source:Bloomberg
  • Title:Libyan Prince Says Qaddafi Will Be Ousted If Rebels Are United
  • Author: Caroline Alexander
  • Date & Time:16 August 2011

Libyan Prince Muhammad bin Sayyid Hassan as-Senussi said Muammar Qaddafi will be toppled “sooner rather than later” if rebels keep their unity and resolve, as the conflict in the North African nation enters its sixth month.

“Day after day, week after week, most of the nation has stood together, united against the tyrant as brave freedom fighters have taken up arms,” as-Senussi said in a statement on his website today. “For Libya to take its place among the great nations of the world, we must work together as one people.”

On Feb. 17, Libyans in the eastern town of Benghazi staged a peaceful protest calling for more rights, and were fired upon by security forces. In March, amid international condemnation of Qaddafi’s escalating crackdown on dissent, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization began an air campaign to protect civilians. After several weeks of stalemate, the rebels are claiming advances on the battlefield.

Opposition forces say they have ended nightly rocket attacks by Qaddafi’s military by taking the town of Tarwaga, near the western city of Misrata. They also say they are inside Zawiya, 35 miles (56 kilometers) from the capital, Tripoli.

Qaddafi has lasted longer than expected amid reports of fuel and food shortages in Tripoli, which he controls. This week, he urged his supporters to resist NATO and rebel fighters in a speech aired as an audio file on state television. “United we must fight for a new society in which the freedoms and rights of the people come first,” said as-Senussi, who now lives in London. “This long struggle, one that has been longer than we had hoped, is not yet over,” As-Senussi is the son of Hassan as-Senussi and the great- nephew of King Idris, who was overthrown by Qaddafi in September 1969.

The prince, who pushed for a no-fly zone over Libya in February, has worked with Libyan expatriates to send goods, clothing and medicine to the North African country.