Authoritarian Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi has no intentions of ceasing violence and bloodshed, the United States has said.
“It has become clear that Qadhafi and his henchmen have no intention of ceasing the violence and bloodshed.
Despite the claims of recent days, regime forces have continued to commit atrocities in Misrata and the western mountains,” U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz told reporters.
“The indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas in Misrata has not stopped. In the western mountains, pro-regime troops have laid siege to civilian populations, apparently attempting to starve them into submission,” he said.
Mr. Cretz reiterated that Mr. Qadhafi and his regime have lost all legitimacy and must relinquish power, leaving the Libyan people free to determine their own future.
“Qadhafi must also put a stop to his attacks on civilians and pull back from the areas that they have forcibly entered,” he said, adding this was agreed by the international community at the first meeting of the Contact Group on Libya held in Doha on April 13.
In the Doha meeting it was also agreed that the regime must comply with its obligations under international law, including the re-establishment of water, electricity, and gas supplies to all areas and unrestricted humanitarian access to all of Libya.
“The participants reiterated that a political solution would be the only way to bring lasting peace to Libya and reaffirmed their commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and national unity of Libya,” he said.
The U.S. envoy said that there was no estimate of number of people killed by the Qadhafi regime since the civil war has broke in Libya.
“We have seen figures ranging from 10 to 30,000. I don’t think that we are probably going to get an accurate number until we really get more hands-on experience on the ground. And don’t forget, we keep getting reports even from contacts in Tripoli and in the west of bodies that have been uncovered on the beach. We just have no sense of the scale of this thing until it’s over,” he said.
The U.S. diplomat expressed hope that Qadhafi would realise that the game was up and international community was not going tolerate anymore.
The best thing he can do for the future of Libyan people and himself is to give it up and allow a democratic process and a new government to take hold in Libya, he said.
“Certainly one of the elements of political process, which we hope would lead eventually to a new Libya and a new Libyan Government, would be what his fate would be,” Mr. Cretz said.