Last Updated: Mon Aug 22, 2011 17:32 pm (KSA) 14:32 pm (GMT)

NATO should stop air strikes, says Libyan charge d’affaires

Vehicles belonging to forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Qaddafi explode after an air strike by coalition forces, along a road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah last March. (Photo by Reuters)
Vehicles belonging to forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Qaddafi explode after an air strike by coalition forces, along a road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah last March. (Photo by Reuters)

NATO should stop its air strikes in Libya, the country’s charge d’affaires in London, who supports the rebels, said on Monday after rebel fighters swept into the heart of Tripoli, heralding the end of Muammar Qaddafi’s four-decade rule.

“NATO has done a very good job, they neutralized Qaddafi’s war machine,” Mahmud Nacua told reporters. “But I think their role will be over and the Libyan people will independently rebuild their country.”

Asked whether he was calling on NATO to stop its military campaign, Nacua replied: “I think so, yes. There’s no danger from Qaddafi and his heavy machines against our fighters.”

World leaders were in no doubt that, after six months of an often meandering revolt backed by NATO air power, the disparate and often fractious rebel alliance was about to take control of the North African desert state and its extensive oil reserves.

NATO said on Sunday it would continue to enforce its UN mandate to protect civilians in Libya. “If we see that there are further attempts to attack civilians, we’ll continue to enforce the mandate,” a NATO spokeswoman said.

Asked whether there might now be infighting within Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council, Mr. Nacua said: “From our experience in other cities, in Benghazi, in Misrata, there is no problem.”

“The NTC will move soon from Benghazi to Tripoli and they will appoint a new transitional government, which will rule the country and which will serve the people in all cities.”

Mr. Nacua acknowledged there might be some difficulties in the next few days “because every revolution will face some difficulties, maybe some mistakes will happen.”

“There are still some pockets who support Qaddafi, maybe some fighting in some areas, but on the whole our fighters control 95 percent of the city and the country.”

Mr. Nacua added that he had no news about Colonel Qaddafi, but he thought he was still in Libya.

“The fighters will turn over every stone to find him, to arrest him and to put him in the court.”

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