Benghazi’s heavy rain and cold weather did not stop the excited masses from cheering “Libya is free” and “the National Council represents us” as soon as Abdel Hafez Ghoga, spokesman of the Libyan National Council (LNC), began his address to the nation at the courthouse or “Tahrir Square”.
Ghoga started with assuring that revolutionaries are in control of the oil rich ports of Brega and Ras Lanuf as well as Mesratta. He added that they are also on their way to reclaiming Ben Jawwad and El Zawya.
“Our sons are bravely fighting against the air strikes and bombings; their spirits are high and soon they will be joined by our army which is now reorganising,” said Ghoga who urged protesters to amass for a huge demonstration tomorrow in support of the Zawya fighters. He said that the sit-in will continue until Libyan leader Col Muammer Gaddafi and his regime are removed.
Furthermore, Ghoga pledged that there were no ongoing negotiations between the national council and Gaddafi’s regime. “What safe exit is he talking about? It is not going to happen. He will be punished for the crimes he has committed,” stressed the LNC spokesman as the crowds chanted, “People want Gaddafi’s head down” and “No negotiation with the killer.”
“This is a peaceful revolution, but the regime is insisting on fighting with heavy weaponry; our youth are defending themselves, but mercenaries, some from Algeria and Syria, are being hired to kill us as Libyans will not bomb their own people,” stressed Ghogha.
“War planes bombed water reservoirs in Ras Lanuf and killed tens in Zawiya. People are unable to pull bodies out and bury them amidst all the heavy air raids.”
On the diplomatic front, he guaranteed that both France and Italy now recognise the LNC and anticipated that more countries will join when the European Union meet on 11 February. He also indicated his appreciation of the Gulf Council's no-fly zone decision, although it was late, but described the Arab League’s decision to postpone its meeting as shameful. “We want support from the international community, especially military support so that we may defend ourselves against these air strikes.”
He promised to continue updating the people and hoped to shortly celebrate Gaddafi’s resignation with them.