Clinton: Gadhafi Using ‘Mercenaries and Thugs’
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi of using “mercenaries and thugs” against his own people on Monday as rebels said they thwarted an attempted aerial bombing of an eastern city.
“Gadhafi and those around him must be held accountable for these acts, which violate international legal obligations and common decency,” Clinton told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. “Nothing is off the table as long as the Libyan government continues to threaten and kill Libyan citizens.”
Libya oil chief: Production down 50 percent
AIRO (AP) — Libya’s oil chief said Monday that production had been cut by around 50 percent, and argued it was “safe” for foreign oil workers to return after a mass exodus sparked by Moammar Gadhafi’s increasingly violent campaign to retain control of the country.The assurances by Shukri Ghanem, the head of the state-run National Oil Co. and Libya’s de facto oil minister, came as uncertainty swirled about the state of the OPEC member’s production and who was actually in control of the brunt of the nation’s oil. Libya sits atop Africa’s largest proven reserves.The country is the only member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries so far seriously affected by the protests roiling the Arab world, and unrest there has sent shudders through global oil markets.Ghanem claimed that the government in Tripoli remained firmly in control of the country’s oil installations – from fields to refineries and pipelines. He rejected an assessment put forward by EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger on Monday that Gadhafi had lost control of the country’s main oil and gas fields.”He does not control the oil,” Ghanem said, referring to Oettinger. “You can believe who you want, but I am the chairman of the National Oil Company and I know what we produce,” he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.