Wednesday, April 20, 2011

French Official Urges Allies to Deploy Ground Troops to Libya

Chairman of France's foreign affairs committee, Axel Poniatowski, has urged allies to put boots on the ground in Libya, reports say.

Poniatowski has also said that France should deploy commandos to Libya to guide the air strikes.

France was the first country to intervene in Libya and carry out the first air strikes.

Force of occupation on Libyan soil is forbidden by the UN resolution to protect civilians, but some of the allies have stubbornly urged deployment of ground troops and possible arming of the Libya rebels.

French officials had recently criticised Nato for not doing enough in Libya and pushed other allies to step up air strikes against Gaddafi.

Despite calls for more pressure on Col Gaddafi, the recent Berlin meeting also ended with no commitment on the issue.

Nato seems to be acting cautiously to avoid being seen the Libyan rebels' air force.

Libyan government spokesman has previously argued that those who took up armed could not be referred to as civilians.

Nato took the lead in Libya after President Barack Obama came under pressure by US politicians accusing him of being unable to define the US Libya mission.

Some other countries, especially Russian has said Nato should not exceed its mandate in Libya.

It comes as clashes are continuing and the rebels have claimed they have made some gains in Misrata which is under heavy threat from Gaddafi forces.

Misrata has remained under siege and the humanitarian situation has been reported worsening.

Government forces have also been pressing the eastern town of Ajdabiya.

UK recently vowed to help stranded migrant workers flee the city.

Fighting has intensified after the recent efforts by the African Union peace delegation headed by the South African President failed to reach any positive conclusion.



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