Arabs in solidarity with Libyan uprising against brutal Gaddafi

Ahram Online , Wednesday 23 Feb 2011

As the revolt in Libya reaches its first week, citizens around the region express their support of the protesters and condemnation of Gaddafi in more strident terms than their governments

Libyan men living in Amman carry a pre-Gadhafi era national flag as they shout anti-Gadhafi slogans during a protest in solidarity with the Libyan people near the Libyan Embassy in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday, (AP).

The brutality used against Libyan protesters has brought international condemnation of Gaddafi and his regime for crimes against humanity.

Attacks on Gaddafi's actions were most vocal on Arab streets. Arab regimes were also quick to issue statements showing disapproval regarding the situation.

In a historic stance, the Arab League, viewed as a failed institution for decades now, issued a statement Tuesday banning Libya from attending its council meetings and issuing a decree officially condemning the Libyan regime’s actions as well as calling for member states to provide much needed aid for the Libyan people.

Amr Mousa, secretary general of the Arab League, expressed his concern about the events unfolding in Libya, offering his condolences to the Libyan people and insisting the bloodshed must stop.

After dictators were uprooted by popular revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, the region has witnessed an unprecedented surge in public expression sending regimes into a state of hysteria and caution.

In a bid to show support for the Libyan people and condemn the extreme violence carried out against them, several Middle Eastern states have issued their own condemnatory statements.

Jordan demanded on Tuesday an end to the violence, in particular the "targeting and bombarding [of] civilians... The bloodshed in Libya must immediately stop," Jordanian foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Kayed said. "Dealing with civilians this way is a stark violation of human rights and international laws."

Qatar also condemned the reported use of the air force and live ammunition against protesters.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit fell short of directly condemning the Libyan regime, restricting his criticisms to Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam for inciting violence against Egyptians by suggesting they had taken part in the protests against his father.

The message was far more emphatic among ordinary Arab citizens.

In the Jordanian capital Amman, Jordanians and Libyans staged a sit-in in front of the Libyan embassy asking for the removal of the Gaddafi regime.

Hundreds of Egyptians staged protests in front of the Libyan embassy on Monday and Tuesday, holding banners and chanting anti-Gaddafi slogans. Another demonstration was held Tuesday in front of the Arab League’s headquarters in Tahrir Square.

This was followed by protests on Tuesday in the coastal city of Alexandria where thousands of demonstrators – Egyptians and Libyans – marched to the Libyan consulate. Protesters called on the Libyan Consul to resign then and there and join them.

Protesters came out in their thousands in Tunis calling for international action to stop what the "massacre" taking place in Libya.

Other demonstrations took place in Gaza and Oman with Arab solidarity with the Libyan people continuing in the face of Gaddafi’s stubbornness and threats of further suffering.

Libyan strongman Gaddafi vowed Tuesday to eliminate opponents to his rule, threatening them with severe punishment and saying he will fight "to the last drop."

As Arab and International states condemn Gaddafi, Libyan cities continue to come under the control of the opposition.

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