Italian Foreign Minister Says More Than 1,000 Killed in Libya
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini spoke on Wednesday before the representatives of the Italian lower house and told them he feared that death toll in Libya was more than 1,000 persons and manifested concern about the fact that the unchained violence in the north African republic could result in a new wave of Islamic fundamentalism.
He said that situation in Libya was chaotic and the estimates about the high number of deaths “appear to be true.”
Frattini said that the prospect of the “Libyan Emirate” in the east of the country, that would also comprise Cyrenaica, which is no out of governmental reach, is duable, as is the possibility that Islamic radicalism take over the country.
The city of Benghazi, in the eastern side of the country, was reported to be in the hands of protesters yesterday.
Frattini reasserted that this changes that occur in the Muslim world are no more than a few hundred kilometers away from European Union and the threat of massive migrations toward Europe is not only imminent, but already a fact, since hundreds and thousands of Tunisian people came to Italy after the revolution in their country, creating a situation that requested the immediate intervention of the European authorities.
On the other hand, Frattini said that nothing can justify the murder of hundreds of civilians, referring to the crackdown on Libyan population in Tripoli, where the forces loyalist to Qaddafi shot every human being that was moving in the streets of the city, leaving the dead in the middle of the street.
The conflict in Libya brought supplemental strain on the already stressed Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, accused by the press of not doing anything to convince Muammar al-Qaddafi, with whom he has close ties, to stop the killings.
Italy has a long-standing relation with Libya, which is supplying its natural gas needs. In 2008, Italy signed an accord with Libya promising the African country $3 billion over 20 years in exchange for favoring Italian companies and help in containing the flow of immigrants to Europe.
Italy also comprised in the treaty a clause that could prejudice its role in NATO if an intervention should be required in this country. Thus, Italy pledged to not use its territory, nor to allow any other parts to do so, against their Libyan partners.
The treaty also forbids direct implication in the internal or external affairs of the subscribing countries.
Meanwhile, Qaddafi continues his crackdown on people in the streets of Tripoli, appearing on television, where he calls the protestors “rats,” and promises them the capital punishment.
Al Jazeera reports that he is following in the footsteps of the other dictators in the region, by antagonizing the crowds, blocking communication channels, and hiring mercenaries to defend his regime.
The way he used heavy weaponry against the people, drawing immense criticism from international community, convinces more and more his close collaborators to leave him for fear of being prosecuted when all this is over.
One such case seems to be the Interior Minister, who resigned his office. Many others, officers, diplomats, have defected, showing that the regime is close to its end.
The outgoing minister has accused the president of having killed 300 people and demanded the army and the police to stand by the people in this fight.
The situation in the field also appears to be running against the dictatorial ambitions of Qaddafi, as the eastern side of the country no longer is under governmental control, and the military is disobeying the murderous orders to kill the people they were sworn in to protect.
Tribal leaders threatened to take arms against the president in case he does not put an end to the slaying of the people.
Evacuation of the foreign citizens continues, as the situation destabilizes more and more.11