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A long 8 months in Libya – [Some practical lessons to Eritreans]

(CNN) -- Fighting in Libya started with anti-government demonstrations in February and escalated into a civil war. Libyan fighters announced the fall of the last stronghold of former leader Moammar Gadhafi, and reports have since surfaced

(CNN) — Fighting in Libya started with anti-government demonstrations in February and escalated into a civil war.
Libyan fighters announced the fall of the last stronghold of former leader Moammar Gadhafi, and reports have since surfaced that Gadhafi was killed in the fighting.
International powers have accused Gadhafi’s regime of committing human rights violations and killing civilians.
Here are some key points CNN has reported in the conflict.
February 14
Three days after the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, calls go out on Facebook for peaceful demonstrations in Libya against leader Moammar Gadhafi. The Libyan leader, who ruled over the country for more than four decades, voiced support for Mubarak during the Egyptian crisis.
February 16

About 200 demonstrators protesting the arrest of a human activist take to the streets in the coastal city of Benghazi, witnesses say. Several of them are arrested amid confrontations with police. A highly placed source close to the Libyan government tells CNN, “There is nothing serious here. These are just young people fighting each other.”
February 18
Libyan state television shows images of men chanting pro-Gadhafi slogans, waving flags and singing around the Libyan leader’s limousine as it creeps through Tripoli. In Benghazi, human rights groups and protesters claim they’re under attack by pro-government security forces. Among the tens of thousands of protesters who take to the streets, at least 20 people are killed and 200 are wounded, according to medical sources.
February 19
Protests continue to turn violent, however the death and injury toll is unclear. In Benghazi, witnesses report bloody clashes with soldiers firing tear gas and bullets. Witnesses say protests have erupted in cities across the country. Human Rights Watch reports that 84 people have been killed in Libyan demonstrations since February 15.
February 20
Violence surges in Benghazi where a witness says protesters have taken control of the city and much of Tripoli. Gadhafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gadhafi appears on state television to warn demonstrators that the country could fall into civil war if their protests do not subside.

February 21
The Libyan newspaper Quryna reports that the country’s justice minister has resigned to protest what he calls a “bloody situation and use of excessive force” by security forces against protesters.
February 22
Gadhafi appears on television to dispel rumors that he has fled the country, vowing he will never leave Libya, and “will die as a martyr at the end.” The United Nations Security Council issues a statement saying it “condemned the violence and use of force against civilians, deplored the repression against peaceful demonstrators and expressed deep regret at the deaths of hundreds of civilians” in Libya.
February 23
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemns what he calls “egregious violations” of human rights as Libya tries to crush an ongoing revolt, telling reporters that those who have shed “the blood of innocents” must face punishment.
February 25
U.S. President Barack Obama signs an executive order freezing Moammar Gadhafi’s assets.
February 26
The United Nations Security Council imposes sanctions against Libya, including an arms embargo, asset freeze and travel bans for Gadhafi and his associates. It also refers Gadhafi to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity. The opposition movement announces that it has picked a leader: Former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul Jalil.
February 28
The European Union bans the sale of arms and ammunition to Libya and freezes the assets of Gadhafi and five members of his family, while imposing a visa ban on Gadhafi and 15 other people tied to the regime’s crackdown.
March 1
The United Nations General Assembly adopts a resolution to oust Libya from its seat on the 47-member Human Rights Council.
March 7
NATO begins round-the-clock surveillance flights of Libya as it considers various options for dealing with escalating violence there.
March 17
The United Nations Security Council votes to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians. The resolution is approved with 10 votes, including those of the United States and the United Kingdom. There are no opposing votes on the 15-member council, but China, Russia, Germany, India and Brazil abstain. Germany says it is concerned about a protracted military conflict.
March 18
Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa says the country has decided on “an immediate cease-fire and the stoppage of all military operations.” But sources inside Libya say violence continues.
March 19
French, British and American military forces begin the first phase of Operation Odyssey Dawn, aimed at enforcing the no-fly zone. More than 110 Tomahawk missiles fired from American and British ships and submarines hit about 20 Libyan air and missile defense targets, U.S. Vice Adm. William Gortney says at a Pentagon briefing. The operation is meant “to deny the Libyan regime from using force against its own people,” Gortney says.
March 20
Gadhafi, speaking on Libyan state TV, says the U.N. charter provides for Libya’s right to defend itself in a “war zone.” Weapons depots will be opened, he says. “All you people of the Islamic nations and Africa, and Latin America and Asia, stand with the Libyan people in its fight against this aggression,” Gadhafi said.
March 24
NATO agrees to take command of the mission enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.
March 26
A Libyan woman with bruises all over her body bursts into a Tripoli hotel housing international journalists, shouting that she was taken from a checkpoint and held for two days while 15 of Gadhafi’s militiamen beat and raped her. “Look at what Gadhafi’s brigades did to me,” Eman al-Obeidy says before government officials and hotel staff whisk her outside to a car and drive her away. She is not heard from for more than a week. The Libyan government says al-Obeidy is mentally ill and drunk. Officials call her a prostitute. Later, the government changes its story and says the men accused of raping al-Obeidy are being investigated, but the suspects, in turn, file counter-charges for slander.
March 30
Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa arrives in the United Kingdom and tells the government there that he has resigned.
March 31
NATO announces that it has begun Operation Unified Protector in Libya, including an arms embargo, a no-fly zone and “actions to protect civilians and civilian centers.”
April 6
Gadhafi urges U.S. President Barack Obama to end the NATO bombing of his war-torn country, making an appeal in a letter to the American president. Gadhafi asks Obama to stop what he calls the “unjust war against a small people of a developing country,” adding that those in the opposition are terrorists and members of al Qaeda, the official said.
April 29
In a speech, Gadhafi urges NATO to negotiate an end to airstrikes, accusing the international coalition of killing civilians and destroying the nation’s infrastructure in a bid to take over its oil production.
April 30
NATO launches a missile attack on a house in Tripoli. The attack kills one of Gadhafi’s sons, Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, and several of his grandchildren.
May 8
Al-Obeidy, who garnered worldwide attention for her vocal allegations of rape against Gadhafi’s regime, says she has fled Libya, fearing for her safety. She tells CNN that she has crossed into Tunisia with the help of a defecting military officer and his family. A month later, she finds temporary sanctuary in Qatar before being deported back to Libya.
May 22
The European Union opens an office in the rebel-held Libyan city of Benghazi.
June 8-13
Several countries, including Spain and Germany, recognize the opposition National Transitional Council as Libya’s legitimate representative.
June 1
NATO announces that it is extending its mission in Libya for 90 days. Libya’s oil minister defects to Italy and tells CNN he left because the suffering of the country’s people had become unbearable.
June 14
South African President Jacob Zuma lashes out at NATO, arguing that the organization is misusing the United Nations resolution meant to protect civilians “for regime change, political assassinations and foreign military occupation.”
June 27
The International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, his son Saif al-Islam Gadhafi and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi. The warrants are “for crimes against humanity,” including murder and persecution, “allegedly committed across Libya” from February 15 through “at least” February 28, “through the state apparatus and security forces,” the court says in a news release.
July 15-27
The United States and the United Kingdom join countries recognizing the National Transitional Council as “the legitimate governing authority” in Libya.
July 27
After being granted asylum in the United States, al-Obeidy arrives in New York, then boards a flight to the destination where she will reside. Her arrival in the United States comes after she spends 54 days in a U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees facility in Romania.
July 28
Rebel leaders announce that the commander of Libya’s rebel army was assassinated in Benghazi along with two senior officers, just hours after claiming big successes on the battlefield.
August 9
Libyan National Transitional Council Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil dismisses the rebels’ 14-member executive board, a spokesman for the council says.
August 15
Gadhafi urges Libyans to fight opposition forces and “cleanse this sweet and honorable land.” In a speech broadcast on state television, Gadhafi says: “The strikes will be over and NATO will be defeated. Move always forward to the challenge; pick up your weapons; go to the fight in order to liberate Libya inch by inch from the traitors and from NATO. Be prepared to fight if they hit the ground.”
August 16
Col. Roland Lavoie, a spokesman for NATO’s military operation, tells reporters that “anti-Gadhafi forces are now assuming control of the key approaches to Tripoli.” A spokesman for the Gadhafi government offers a different view. “We are doing very well,” spokesman Musa Ibrahim says.
August 18
Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoodi says the military is “powerful enough to finish this battle” to its advantage, but warned that the cost would be too high, calling again for dialogue to resolve the crisis peacefully rather than militarily. Meanwhile, a brother of Musa Ibrahim, the spokesman for the government in Tripoli, was killed by NATO aircraft, a Libyan government official said.
August 19
U.S. officials say Gadhafi may be making preparations for a “last stand” in Tripoli as a month long NATO air campaign continues amid reports of rebel advances.
August 20
Libyan rebels have taken their fight inside Tripoli, home to the embattled Libyan leader, a rebel spokesman says.
Government spokesman Musa Ibrahim insists that all is safe and well. He says the Libyan capital remains under government control. Libyan officials reject rebel claims that Gadhafi is seeking refuge for his family, saying that neither the leader nor his wife and children plan to leave the country.
August 21
In an audio-only address on state television, Gadhafi calls on Libyans to rally to the defense of Tripoli, as rebels capture two of his sons. The International Criminal Court says it plans to negotiate the transfer of Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, who is wanted for crimes against humanity, along with his father. Rebels declare Sunday “Day 1,” saying “Gadhafi is already finished,” while NATO says the regime is “crumbling.” Government spokesman Musa Ibrahim says some 1,300 people are killed and about 5,000 wounded in 12 hours of fighting.
August 22
A rebel spokesman says Libya is under the control of the opposition, but intense clashes still rage in parts of Tripoli. Rebels say three of Gadhafi’s sons have been detained, but rebel and international leaders say the leader’s whereabouts are unknown. “The real moment of victory is when Gadhafi is captured,” National Transitional Council chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil tells reporters.
August 23
Rebels capture Gadhafi’s Bab al-Aziziya compound, aided by NATO airstrikes. But neither Gadhafi nor his family members are found.
Saif al-Islam Gadhafi shows up at the Rixos hotel, quashing the rebels’ claim that he and two brothers were in their custody. In a brief interview with CNN, he says his father and several of his sisters are safe in Tripoli. Another Gadhafi son, Mohammed Gadhafi, escapes from rebel custody, the Libyan ambassador to the United States says. It remains unclear whether Saadi Gadhafi — the third son the rebels claimed to have captured — is actually in custody.
Bahrain recognizes Libya’s National Transitional Council as the county’s “sole legitimate representative,” according to Bahrain’s state-run news agency.
August 24
Libyan rebels weather resistance from Gadhafi forces in several volatile pockets across Tripoli, and a few dozen journalists kept hostage for days by the strongman’s armed supporters dramatically win their freedom. Rebels work to topple remnants of the Gadhafi military apparatus as special forces from Britain, France, Jordan and Qatar — already on the ground in Libya — beef up operations to help them. Gadhafi purportedly delivers another defiant audio message but his whereabouts remain unknown.
August 25
The U.N. Security Council reaches an agreement to release $1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets to the country’s fledgling rebel government, the National Transitional Council.
August 30
Libyan NTC fighters say they have killed Moammar Gadhafi’s son, Khamis Gadhafi, during a battle in northwest Libya.
September 1
Two sons of Gadhafi made public statements with divergent information. A defiant Saif al-Islam Gadhafi told Rai TV in a phone call that Libyans should continue to fight against the new NTC government. “Victory or martyrdom!” he said. “Wherever you see the enemy, attack them. They are weak, they have suffered lots of losses and they are now licking their wounds.” At the same time, his brother, Saadi Gadhafi told Al Arabiya that surrender is possible. “If this will prevent bloodshed, we will do it, just give us guarantees,” a man identified as Saadi Gadhafi told the station. He said he was speaking on behalf of his father. He said he could not say whether he was in close touch with Moammar Gadhafi, but added, “If the rebels want to lead this country; we don’t have an objection to that. In the end we are all Libyans and we are all together.”
September 2
In messages of anger and defiance, a man purported to be Gadhafi, urged Libyans to continue the fight and not surrender to “imperialist” forces. “God is with us, and we are in our homes,” he said in an audio-only message aired on Syria’s Al-Rai Television, adding that Libyans are prepared to martyr themselves for the cause.
September 3
Libya’s NTC leadership give Gadhafi loyalists one week to surrender before they face military force in the last bastions of the strongman’s power. Anti-Gadhafi forces are positioning around the former leader’s hometown, Sirte, and Bani Walid, where a powerful tribe is sympathetic to Gadhafi, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, said.
September 9 – 10
The Libyan NTC leadership’s deadline for loyalists to lay down their arms in the last strongholds passes without an agreement. The following day, the Libyan fighters face resistance as they try to win control of the last Gadhafi strongholds.
September 14
Libya’s interim leadership gives residents in Bani Walid a 48-hour notice to leave the city as it sent reinforcements there and to the former regime’s other remaining strongholds of Sirte and Sabha.
September 20
The Gadhafi stronghold of Sabha falls into Libyan fighters’ hands.
October 6
A message purportedly from Gadhafi slams the legitimacy of Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council and urged Libyans to take to the streets to protest. “I tell them not to be scared from anyone,” said the audio message, aired on Syrian-based Al-Rai television. “You are protesting peacefully in front of the world. Be brave and go out in the streets. Of the transitional council, the speaker said, “Where did it get this official representation from? Did the Libyans elect it?”
October 17
Libya’s new government takes over one of the last cities loyal to Gadhafi, Bani Walid, leaving Sirte as the last major holdout.
October 18
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Tripoli, making her the first Cabinet-level American official to go to Libya since the ouster of Gadhafi.Regarding him, Clinton told reporters: “We hope he will be captured or killed soon.”
October 20
Sirte falls to the Libyan fighters, and reports surface that Gadhafi was killed in fighting there. National Transitional Council Information Minister Mahmoud Shamman told CNN that Gadhafi was killed when fighters attacked the house where he was. “He tried to flee and they killed him. When they met him, he was alive and he was killed in action,” Shamman said. An official confirmation of Gadhafi’s death was not immediately released.

Review overview
  • Temesgen Medhanie October 26, 2011

    This is what President Obama had to say the other day when he appeared on Jay Leno Show, “This is somebody who for 40 years has terrorized his country and supported terrorism,” Obama said. Gadhafi “had an opportunity during the Arab Spring to finally let loose of his grip on power and to peacefully transition into democracy. We gave him ample opportunity, and he wouldn’t do it.”
    Obama said Gadhafi’s demise sent “a strong message around the world to dictators” that “people long to be free,” and that “universal rights” and aspirations should be respected.

    I hope Isaias is taking heed to the caveat as he has an ample time to exit the political scene peacefully before he becomes a statistics as the demise of dictators is on the rise.

    • kozami October 26, 2011


      You don’t really thing Eritrea is a ‘sexy’ as Libya in the eyes of the corporate Mafioso. I thought strategy and tactics were like Chinese chop sticks where one remained constant while the other moving constantly. bezi n’reeyo zelona gin esrategy ab gidam tesetihu taktik dima kem dlayu ms delayu lokh lokh yeble alo…

      • Temesgen Medhanie October 26, 2011


        I am not sure if Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen appeared any sexier than Libya when the “Corporate Mafioso” talked the people into rising up against the tyrants. Why is it incredibly difficult for you to see and feel the agony of the people where they take it to the streets simply because they want to be treated like any other human being in the free world? When is cynicism and apathy going to end and understand people’s misery? As much as your reasoning is a worn out conspiracy theory, it would have had some sort of elements of truth in it if it was not an anachronistic in terms where overt and covert actions were the order of the day, as the duo Super Powers (read U.S. and U.S.S.R) were dividing the world with in ideological schism. However, now when the Last Man and the End of History (if I could borrow Fukuyama) is unfolding, no one can resist the need for Universal Rights and the ideals of Liberal Democracy.

        • Eritrawi October 26, 2011

          Thank you Temesgen, I think Qzami lost his beering and hope fully he would recover from your well said massage.


          • Temesgen Medhanie October 26, 2011


            Glad you agree hawey.

        • Haqqi Nezareb October 26, 2011

          Ata Temesgen hawey hijis nezi Kozami tetertireyo tseman de’a keykewon.

          • Temesgen Medhanie October 26, 2011

            Haqqi N’zareb hawey,

            If the heart is where the soul is, Qozami might have misplaced it where it would be harsh to say that, he has lost it when his ears are intact as acoustic as a Bat’s ability to hear.

      • Huluf October 26, 2011

        Oh yes the disprespect DIA has shown to Amasabdor Susan Rice during the war….now he must be biting his tongue….Oh I am sure President Obama had DIA in his count of dictators with “…the message…”….Clock is ticking Kozami, Time you begin to practice your “mquzam” or own the relative you abandoned….Truth!! Truth!! it gives a feeling of clear conscousness raises one head high all the time.

  • Dawit October 26, 2011

    A certain writer by the name of Salih Ebrahim wrote an article entitled “More Effective Methods to topple the dictator” in which he stated the steps he thinks are crucial to topple a dictator. I hope he reads this series of unfolding events that led to the violent death of Kezafi, his three sons, and some of the high-level officials of his government and further develop his article and re-post it.

    As in Libya, there are many noticeable realities that will , in due time, drive Eritreans to the edge as a result of constant abuse and continuous repression. Eritreans are noticing that Issayas has no respect for Eritreans. The tyrant appears to be completely detached from every thing and anything that is happening to Eritreans both inside and outside of the country.

  • Semhar October 26, 2011

    A massage to all Eritreans.

    LIVE FREE OR DIE with dignity.

    DISTROY the PFDJ the terrorist organization where ever they are.

  • ahmed Saleh October 26, 2011

    Itis wrong to tie our hands waiting for political solution while our people especially the youth have been victimized
    from a situation over which they have no control. All of us needs peace also wants our rights to be respected.
    From my point of view, there is no hope our government will bring stability, observing their characters. When different
    ideas or opinions for resolution are either neglected or punished we will be doomed to live in a dark period. What we
    see at this movements all over places is undeniable energy and spirit. It comes from frustration over direction our
    country is heading and the future we observe. Most of these youth, they live in it and have first hand experience with
    IA and his circle. Do not forget, Awareness is a power.

  • Abdi October 26, 2011



    • ahmed Saleh October 26, 2011

      Open your eyes and be realistic. How come you expect us to this foolish and nonsence resolution.
      Early you were defending the regime of HGDF concerning our political prisoners. And now you want us
      to follow the same procedure and give our names to the crooked embassy. What is next constructing more
      prisons. I know you are not stupid but I could not figure out to identify who you are.

    • Semhar October 26, 2011

      LIVE FREE OR DIE with dignity.
      The only solution is to destroy the dictator and
      the PFDJ the terrorist organization where ever they are.
      Gaddafi is dead Isayas is next!

    • GOOD MAN October 27, 2011

      Stand up for your right. It is time for action boy.

  • Dawit & Amanuel , Birmingham, UK October 26, 2011

    Issais must be removed with his loyalist and messengers. The generals and military officers are in good business. Issias is protected by these selfish officers. we need to work hard and remove him and replace by demcracy and rule of law.

  • ahmed Saleh October 26, 2011

    Make it clear, we care less about IA OR hgdf and Meles or weyane. We are trying to open our self up the cause
    and care of our people. Most of us are victims of politicians but the difference is some admit it and some don’t.
    It is important to take and examine our research for the truth of our country seriously. When broken dreams
    and to be visionless become accepted among Eritreans, we have to realize that there is something wrong to
    be corrected. It is unfortunate and pity to the soul when one’s life affected through the voice of regret. Our people
    nowadays bear the marks of deep disappointment and unfulfilled dream of living.
    Those Eritreans who are betraying our young victims for the sake of an individual (IA), I ask you to wake up.
    GOD don’t like ugly people and truly does work in mysterious way to all those made so many people’s life miserable.
    Selamn Rahwan N’hezbna : Zel-alemawi Zekhri N’Sew-atna:

    • GOOD MAN October 27, 2011

      Stand up for your right. It is time for action boy. DO IT LIKE EGYPT, LIKE LIBYA AND TUNISIA.

  • kozami October 26, 2011

    Haqqi N

    hansab libey, hansab meantay, hansab ezney…lomis kan anbessa do nuguss (heads or tails) diagnosis koynu! (kidding)

    • Haqqi Nezareb October 26, 2011


      Entay de knble kem tsmam hade eznu endiu koynuna

      • Haqqi Nezareb October 26, 2011

        read as “tsmam hade derfu….

  • guitar January 20, 2012

    It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!

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