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Divisions and disorganisation halt Libyan progress

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Divisions and disorganisation halt Libyan progress


Libyan forces claim to have taken part of the town of Sabha, which controls the main route to the south out of the country.

But with Sirte and Bani Walid still resisting the troops of the new interim ruling council, other methods are being used to persuade fighters still loyal to fugitive former leader Muammar Gaddafi to give up.

One National Transitional Council (NTC) commander listened in to a NATO broadcast which urged Gaddafi loyalists to “Lay down your weapons, stop fighting and raise a white flag to indicate that you are surrendering. The world is watching you. This is your opportunity to side with the Libyan people and chose the right side of history.”

In Bani Walid, fighters have talked of tension between NTC units from different parts of the country. Heavy gunfire from Gaddafi loyalists coupled with confusing orders mean repeated assaults are making little progress.

Libyan doctor Abdel Bassit Kashiran explained that “all of the rebels actually, or most of them, are civilians. They are disorganised, they lack leadership.”

And there continues to be a lack of guidance on the political front. The failure of Interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril to name his new cabinet on Sunday revealed fractures in an alliance only united formally by a hatred of Gaddafi.

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