Libya declares ceasefire

By Edoardo Zandona’

UPDATE (15:06) Libyan Youth Movement reports via Twitter: “very large explosions heard and continuing west of Tripoli”. You can follow their tweets here.

UPDATE (14:57) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the international community had “no other choice” but to take action after the killing of civilians in Libya. She stated: “This resolution is an important step, but the US and its partners will continue to explore other ways of ending the Libyan crisis”.

UPDATE (14:50) Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Zapatero declared that “the international community will not be deceived by the Libyan regime”, and it will “verify its enforcement of the resolution”. Italian Foreign minister Franco Frattini announced that Italy is going to shut down its embassy in Libya.

UPDATE (14:42) BBC’s diplomatic correspondant James Robbins said “the ceasefire is a classic tactic from Colonel Gaddafi and it will not stop military preparations”.

UPDATE (14:12) Despite the announced ceasefire, bombardments and crashes between rebels and loyalist troops continue in the city of Misrata. Arabic network Al-Arabiya said 25 people have been killed in the bombardments. CNN broadcasted an interview of a witness stating: “There isn’t any ceasefire in Libya, they are bombing us in this very second. Misrata is on fire”.

UPDATE (14:02) NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen declared: “NATO is completing its plan in order to be ready to take appropriate action in support of the U.N. Security Council’s resolution”. The organization decided to speed up planning for military action in Libya, but whether to intervene in the conflict has not been decided yet.

UPDATE (13:40) First replies to Libya’s declaration of ceasefire from Western countries’ leaders. The French government declared that “the threat in Libya is unchanged”. David Cameron told the BBC that “Gaddafi will be judged by his deeds, not by his words”.

Following the U.N. resolution imposing Libya a no-fly zone, the country declared a ceasefire to assure the protection of civilian population. Libya’s Foreign minister Mousa Koussa declared journalists in Tripoli that the country “agrees with the resolution” and will therefore suspend the planned offensive on the rebels in Benghazi. The minister explained: “Libya is part of the United Nations and must accept the Security Council’s resolution”. He added that Libya will protect the foreigners in the country and their assets. The Libyan government’s announcement has already made the oil price drop of 3 dollars per barrel.

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi