The newly arrived American journalist had a perfectly reasonable question: How could the rebels have let Gaddafi’s family escape to Algeria? Colonel Ahmed Omar Bani, spokesman for the opposition forces in Benghazi, gave him a withering look. “You might want to have a look at a map and then think about that question,” he said. … More Libya: This Isn’t Over Yet
Some of it I get. Algeria is one of the few regional neighbours who hasn’t recognised Libya’s nascent rebel government. It has clearly been hedging its bets, taking cash and keeping its lines of communications open to the Gaddafis. Maybe it’s worried about an uprising at home, and thinks backing the old regime is a … More What’s Algeria Up To?
Sirte is the focus for rebel forces in the east. Units have been moving slowly towards the coastal city all week, reinforcing with heavy armour and artillery from Brega and – on the western side – fighters from Misrata are closing in. But look at what rebel leaders said yesterday and it sounds as if … More Focus on Sirte
Benghazi is like a different city compared with the one I visited in March. It still has its problems – mounds of rubbish are accumulating at the roadside and working traffic lights are scarce – but security is less of a problem. Then, residents said they feared driving around at night. I watched from my … More I Feel Like Chicken Tonight
Back on the road today. And what a familiar road it is. Back in March my fixer, Tam, and I drove up and down the Benghazi to Tripoli road umpteen times charting the rebels’ rapid advances followed by equally rapid retreats. On my first day I made it as far as Ras Lanuf, only for … More The Road to Sirte
If Libya has a government this morning, then it is the rebels’ cabinet in waiting – the executive board or council of the National Transitional Council. But there’s a problem. It was dissolved a fortnight ago and a new one has yet to be appointed. So, for now, the former members still hold the portfolios. … More Libya’s Government in Waiting
It’s a case of the morning after the night before in Benghazi, the rebels’ eastern stronghold. The courthouse square filled with people last night, cheering the last moments of Gaddafi’s regime. Others stayed at home to watch events unfold on television. No-one was in bed before 5am. This morning the streets were quiet. Thousands of … More Morning after the night before
The long drive from Cairo to Benghazi gave me plenty of time to reflect on my previous visits here and wonder what might have changed since May. 1. The rebels in Benghazi have always seemed a rag-tag bunch, with little idea of tactics or strategy. Every rapid advance was followed by rapid retreat. They seem … More Libya’s Rebels – The Questions
The road from Cairo is long and well, pretty dull. This is roughly the scenery for oooh 13 or so hours, except when it’s dark or you drive past a rather umimpressive stretch of drive-through fast food joints There is the occasional camel and World War Two Cemetery. But it was all a little uninspiring … More The Road to Benghazi
Alberto Rodriguez has spent the past year as spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad. I think even he would admit that the image of the US in Pakistan has gone from trough to trough during his time here, but imagine how bad it would be if he wasn’t around to put out fire after … More Is There a Tougher Job in Pakistan?