Indonesia Hails Downfall of Qaddafi Regime
Ismira Lutfia & Reuters
As rebels on Tuesday fought battles around Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi’s headquarters in Tripoli, the Indonesian government said the fall of the regime would mark the end of an era of state violence against civilians in the north African nation.
Hailing the choice made by the people of Libya, Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa said they should be allowed to decide on their own future.
“[We] call on the international community, notably the United Nations, to be more proactive in creating a situation conducive to the political process that is taking place,” he said in a statement.
On Tuesday, NATO jets flew sorties in support of the rebels, who said they were trying to break into Qaddafi’s fortified Bab al-Aziziya compound. His son and presumed heir, Saif al-Islam, had earlier told a crowd that his father was well, and still in Tripoli, the nation’s capital.
In an audio broadcast on Sunday, before state television went off the air, Qaddafi said he would stay in Tripoli “until the end.” But there has been speculation that he might seek refuge in his home region around Sirte, in the north of the country, or abroad.
Residents mostly stayed indoors as the irregular rebel forces swept the capital, encountering resistance from sharpshooters, tanks and other heavy weaponry.
The uncharacteristically efficient rebel advance into the capital, coordinated with an uprising inside the city, seemed evidence to some analysts of the military advice and training Western and some Arab powers, including Qatar, have provided.
Hundreds on both sides may have been killed or wounded since Saturday, although reports from rebel and government officials cannot be verified.
Rebels on Tuesday clashed with an army convoy coming from Sirte, killing dozens of Qaddafi’s troops.