14‏/04‏/2011

Daily Bulletin of the Libya Watch - Media Office -Manchester - Wednesday, April 13 2011

Libya Watch Media Centre - UK

Latest news update from Libya, Wed. 13th April 2011
Issue: 38 
 Suspicion around ‘Mousa Kousa’:
Suspicion has arisen around the British foreign office sending ‘Mousa Kousa’ to the Libyan based crisis meeting in ‘Qatar’. This suspicion has arisen as ‘Mousa Kousa’ is still believed to be working for Gaddafi and his involvement can only be to jeopardise talks against Gaddafi. This is based on the fact the Mousa Kousa’s family is still in ‘Tajoora’ unharmed and living peacefully in ‘Tripoli’ and also that his tribe is still fighting alongside Gaddafi against Libyan citizens. 
Uprising continues in ‘AZawiay’:
Sources from Libya have reported that protesters in ‘AZawiay’ have managed to kill 10 of Gaddafi’s mercenary soldiers on Monday. This took place near the cities centre and is an indication that the uprising is still continuing in ‘AZawiay’ regardless of the current bombardment and siege by Gaddafi’s militias. 
Revolutionists push back Gaddafi's forces in the western boarder
Revolutionary fighters in the city of ‘Zintan’ have liberated the cities western gate of ‘Rahebat’ and they chased Gaddafi’s militias away. Also revolutionists are blocking the attempts of Gaddafi’s battalions at cutting the route between the city of ‘Naloot’ and the Tunisian boarders.
Revolutionary flag raised in Tripoli University
After continues requests and pleas from students in opposition to Gaddafi’s regime, the Libyan revolutionary flag of red, black and green was raised up high in The University of Naser in Tripoli. The flag was raised in place of the usual green Gaddafi flag and stayed on display from morning to midday, when it was removed by Gaddafi’s militias. 
Revolutionist resort to guerrilla tactics in western Libya:
(Reuters) - Overwhelmed by the superior firepower of Muammar Gaddafi's troops, opposition fighters in western Libya are resorting increasingly to guerrilla tactics in their campaign to topple the veteran leader.
Unlike eastern Libya, where rebels hold many coastal cities, the west of the country remains firmly under Gaddafi's control.
The proximity to the nerve centre of Gaddafi's powerful military apparatus in the capital Tripoli makes it hard for fragmented dissenters to organize their actions into a movement. 
TNC in east Libya feel the pinch:
Like Gaddafi's government, the Libyan opposition is feeling the financial pinch. The head of the opposition's central bank last week warned that the eastern part of the country could run out of money within weeks.
Ahmed el-Sharif told the Financial Times that banks were short of local and foreign currency, and that banks in opposition territory were suffering as a result of an asset freeze imposed on the Gaddafi regime.
The opposition has paid public sector salaries in areas it controls for February and March, but will struggle to meet April's wage bill unless it can gain access to Libyan assets frozen offshore, Sharif said. The monthly salaries for public sector workers in the east – 80-85% of the region’s labour market – are estimated at 250m dinars (£124.6m), he said.
As well as cash, ‘Benghazi’ is running out of staples such as pasta, cheese, tuna, milk and children's food. A slump in the value of Libyan currency, coupled with a rise in insurance costs and shipping fees, has caused the price of some foods to double in recent weeks.
To raise cash, the opposition is hoping to export oil. A tanker chartered by Vitol, the world's largest oil trader, docked near the eastern city of ‘Tobruk’ about two weeks ago to take on about 1m barrels. The company, based in Geneva, declined to identify its client or say where the oil would end up. At current prices, the cargo is worth almost $126m (£77m). 
Another way of raising cash is to tap into some of Gaddafi's frozen funds. Some £30bn in assets has been frozen in Britain and the US, but getting hold of it will require fancy legal footwork. 
Gaddafi's finance chief fears regime may run out of cash:
‘Tripoli’ and the western part of the country are panicking and citizens have started stockpiling food and besiege petrol stations. ‘Abdulhafid Zlitni’ said the government would double interest rates in the next week in an attempt to encourage citizens to stop hoarding money at home and deposit their cash in banks. 
The decision to raise interest rates is one of a number of emergency measures taken by the regime in recent weeks, including the rationing of fuel, restricting cash withdrawals from banks, increasing public sector pay by 50% and doubling pensions.  More than 75% of the country's population lives in the western part of the country still controlled by Gaddafi's government, which, despite international sanctions, is still paying public sector salaries, pensions and state subsidies, according to ‘Zlitni’. "At the moment, we have no problem with paying salaries and pensions. Although the bills are heavy, we can pay them," he said. 
Libyan fighting goes on after peace bid fails:
(Reuters): An African Union plan to halt Libya's civil war collapsed, and rebels said the increasingly bloody siege of the city of Misrata by Muammar Gaddafi's troops made talk of a ceasefire meaningless.
The Red Cross said it was opening a Tripoli office and would send a team to Misrata to help civilians trapped by fighting, but one of Gaddafi's ministers warned any aid operation involving foreign troops would be seen as a declaration of war.
Rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said after talks with the AU delegation in Benghazi in the rebel-held east on Monday. 
Shabab Tripoli, Tweeting:
A message from an Engineer in #Tripoli:
Tell your Friends and Family to not change their SIMs after calling abroad. Because when someone changes their SIM to call abroad and then changes their SIM back to their original number. They have a new device now where the magnet does a scan of who the person is and which SIM number they changed to and so then there would be no point of the person changing their SIM if they already know who he is. So once they change their SIM to the number they call abroad ...Don't change it again... Please inform your family and friends in #Tripoli.

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