Sunday, August 28, 2011

The NTC's Tripoli

John Thorne reports on the NTC's challenges in Tripoli:
"Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the National Transitional Council chief, speaking in Benghazi where the rebellion began in February, called for emergency humanitarian aid for the capital, particularly medical supplies...

"He blamed 'sabotage by Qaddafi's forces' for shortages of water and electricity in Tripoli, and said: 'We are working on resolving these problems.'

"Rebels were working to restart a refinery at nearby Zawiyah that provides fuel for Tripoli's main power plant, said Mahmoud Shammam, the NTC information minister. For now, 30,000 tonnes of fuel would be distributed over the next two days, he said. He also promised a fair trial for the fugutive deposed leader Col Muammar Qaddafi and his senior aides, and to protect them from personal vendettas.

"Controlling the road from the Tunisian border to Tripoli would ease growing shortages of fuel and food, particularly in the capital, transformed from metropolis to ghost town over the past week...

"Shops in Tripoli were mostly closed yesterday and the streets nearly empty of cars, apart from the gun-mounted pickups of rebel forces cruising down avenues brilliant with revolutionary graffiti...

"Checkpoints have sprung up around the city, often staffed by armed young men and teenagers. For many, they are a poor substitute for security and sometimes cause of friction."



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