What The Stop the War Coalition Says.
Apparently Gaddafi has declared a ceasefire whilst still killing Libyans, as CNN reports:
“(CNN) — Libya’s government announced a “immediate” cease-fire on Friday, but witnesses in western and eastern Libya says conflict is raging.
Witnesses in the western city of Misrata said a pro-government assault is persisting and casualties are mounting.
“What cease-fire,” asked a doctor in Misrata, who described hours of military poundings, descriptions of casualties, and dwindling resources to treat the wounded. “We’re under the bombs.”
“This morning they are burning the city,” the doctor said. “There are deaths everywhere.”
“Misrata is on fire,” according to an opposition member — who said tanks and vehicles with heavy artillery shot their way into the city last night and the assault continued on Friday. He said Gadhafi’s regime announced a cease-fire to buy time for itself. “Please help us.”
In eastern Libya, CNN’s Arwa Damon reported the sounds of explosions, fighters’ accounts of heavy casualties, and ambulances. She said fighters, who don’t trust Gadhafi, believe the declaration is a trick
“Everybody around us is on very high alert, still expecting the worst,” she said. “
Elsewhere, in the UK the Stop the War Coalition is against the No Fly Zone, and by default, for allowing Gaddafi to advance on Benghazi unhindered. As a matter of record this is what they say:
“DEMONSTRATE: No military intervention in Libya by US and Britain Downing Street • Whitehall • London • Friday 18 March • 5-6pm
The lessons of two disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been learned. The price paid in the devastation of two countries and hundreds of thousands of deaths will now be extended to the people of Libya. Air attacks on Libya will not help end the civil war but will escalate it and could be the prelude to a much wider war. “
Update 1: Dave Osler sums it up nicely:
“The stark fact is that without external support, the forces that have put their lives on the line in the current uprising against Gaddafi face certain defeat, and a reactionary regime will brutally and triumphantly consolidate its rule, perhaps bringing the revolution in North Africa and elsewhere in the Muslim world to a total halt.”
Update 2: The Beeb live update is good, and this piece most pertinent:
“1627: More from that Libyan spokesman. He says his government has asked the Turkish and Maltese authorities to help implement – and supervise – the ceasefire.
1620: A Libyan government spokesman says the ceasefire has already been implemented. He insists that no government military attacks have been launched in Misrata or anywhere else on Friday – this conflicts with a number of reports that the BBC has received.
1616: Ghaith Amanazi, former Arab League ambassador, tells the BBC the Libyan leadership is speaking with two voices. Only yesterday, he says, we had “blood-curdling language” from Col Gaddafi and his son, threatening reprisals against the rebels, and then today, we see the foreign minister trying to appease the international community.
1609: UN spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs tells AFP that parts of the Libyan government have “stated willingness to provide access for humanitarian agencies”, but no agreement has been reached on how an assessment of needs will be carried out.
1602: Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond says he “strongly supports” the UN resolution. He tells the BBC it sends a strong message to the Libyan regime and “will concentrate minds”. Asked if he supports the idea of “regime change”, he says he believes “the end game” is “a new government of Libya. “