Politics | Human rights
Ghaddafi's control reduced to part of Tripoli
Renewed fighting in some Libyan cities yesterday and today has eliminated the last pro-regime resistance, local sources report. The revolution therefore has consolidated its firm grip on Misrata, Libya's third largest city, and Zawija, located only 50 kilometres west of Tripoli.
The few areas under the regime's control now seem like fortresses, temporarily protecting the regime from its unavoidable collapse. "Ghaddafi is turning into the dictator without a land," Germany's journal 'Der Spiegel' commented.
Outside these few parts of Tripoli, there are only two laces still mostly in control of the regime. This especially includes the coastal city of Sirte, the birth-place of Colonel Ghaddafi. Protesters in Sirte last week had taken control of the city, but were later driven back by troops loyal to the regime.
Sirte is a strategic city on the route between the "liberated" east of Libya and Tripoli. The regime's control over Sirte prevents forces from "liberated" Benghazi from reaching Tripoli and keeps forces in nearby Misrata on high alert over possible attacks, thus also preventing them from helping to "liberate" Tripoli.
The last region still mostly loyal to the Ghaddafi regime is the Fezzan in the south-western desert part of the country. This isolated Berber and nomad region, with a significant part of Libya's oil resources, so far has been mostly calm. However, there have been unconfirmed reports of some unrest in the Sabha Oasis and Ghadames today, challenging the regime.
Especially the Sabha Oasis, the largest settlement in the vast Fezzan region, is seen as important to the Ghaddafi regime, as its military base and airport is said to regularly fly in "mercenaries" - or kidnapped sub-Saharan Africans - to the capital.
By staff writers
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