Although I have a ton of work to do, I. cannot. pull. myself. away from Libya news. The latest whoa nuggets:
- Last night, the Libyan military sent text messages to Benghazi residents telling them the city would come under assault today.
- NYT journalists Lynsey Addario, Anthony Shadid, Tyler Hicks, and Stephen Farrell have been missing for two days and were last heard from just before the rebel-held city of Ajdabiya fell to Gaddafi’s forces. On facebook, my Benghazi-based friend Louis described the disappearances as a “gut check.”
- Human Rights Watch wants to be really damn clear about where things stand.
“What everybody is focused on is drawing a line, literally in the sand, around Benghazi, to prevent Qaddafi’s forces from capturing the city and staging a bloodbath,” said Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch. “If Qaddafi wins, it could kill the moment in the entire Middle East.”
- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) moved its staff from Benghazi and Ajdabiya to Tobruk, farther from Gaddafi’s onslaught.
- Guy Verhofstadt, a member of the European Parliament and former Belgian prime minister railed against EU inaction [also from the Al Jazeera March 16 live blog].
“This makes me sick of the EU. We have learnt nothing at all of history. When Gaddafi is back shall we say business as usual? Are we going to close our eyes again? Will we add one black page more to European history?”
- The International Crisis Group says a no-fly zone won’t help at this stage, and is advocating instead for an immediate ceasefire backed up by the credible threat of military intervention, a peace process for political transition, and an Arab and African-led peacekeeping mission.
- The UN Security Council is expected to come to a decision regarding Libya on Thursday morning EST.