We are tracking the latest developments to keep you updated on the situation on the ground. There are interactive maps located in the Protest map page to keep up with the latest movements. Also check out the featured twitters on the sidebar. On the Go? Follow us on Twitter @Feb17Libya for the Live updates and discussion.
All updates are in Libyan local time (GMT+2)
11:42pm:The Libyan ambassador to the European Union defected on Thursday, the EU said. The defection of Al Hadi Hadeiba, who was Muammar Gaddafi’s ambassador to the EU and the Benelux countries, followed a period of discussion with EU officials, an EU diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The move was welcomed by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
11:37pm:An AlArabiya correspondent reports that there is heavy bombardment on several parts in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Multiple explosions have been heard aimed at BabAlAzizya, Gaddafi’s 40 acre compound.
11:30pm:Britain has said its helicopters can fly sorties over Libya as it seeks to raise the pressure on Muammar Gaddafi to step aside, British officials said on Thursday.British ministers gave clearance in principle for the use of Apache helicopters on Thursday and NATO could now call on them.
11:21pm:@Stone_SkyNews Tweets:UK Prime Minister & Defence Sec give clearance for Apache attack helicopters to be used by NATO operation in #Libya.
11:18pm:David Cameron has been told by UK intelligence that Muammar Gaddafi is increasingly paranoid, on the run, and hiding in hospitals by night with senior commanders in the regime unable to communicate with one another.
British diplomatic sources explained:
“What he is doing is moving from a place we won’t bomb to another place we won’t bomb. The fact that he is moving the whole time shows he is worried about people knowing where he is staying.”
“One striking thing is the fact that Gaddafi appears to be moving from hospital to hospital and spending each night in a different hospital. We are getting the sense that a lot of senior commanders have stopped using their phones. They are clearly worried they are being listened to and that is having an impact on their ability to communicate.”
11:12pm:French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday “We are not saying that Gaddafi needs to be exiled, that’s not our problem.” Sarkozy told journalists at a meeting of Group of Eight leaders in northern France “When we say he must leave, he must leave power and the quicker he does it, the greater his choice.” Sarkozy added that Gaddafi must send his troops back to their barracks in exchange for any ceasefire agreement, and that a rebellion against his government was making “real progress”
11:08pm:White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes says Washington believes Gadhafi’s repeated cease-fire offers in recent months are “not credible” unless accompanied by actions.
11:05pm:“The leader, Muammar Gaddafi, is in the heart of every Libyan. If he leaves, the entire Libyan people leave” –Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi
11:02pm:NATO airstrikes are targeting the Libyan capital Tripoli, Libyan state television reports, citing a military source as saying civilian and military sites in the city are now under bombardment.
11:00pm:Libya said on Thursday it was ready for a ceasefire and negotiations with rebels who hold the east of the country but demanded it include an immediate halt to NATO airstrikes. But Libyan rebels quickly rejected the offer, saying Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s government was only trying to win reprieve from NATO air strikes.The proposal by Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi, who said it mirrored a plan floated by the African Union.
Check out Ibn Thabit’s newly released song feauring Salah Ghaly entitled Shohada2ana (our martyrs) … Listen to more of Ibn Thabit’s work at IbnThabit.net
On Tuesday 24th May, US Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Mr. Jeffrey Feltman held a press conference at Tibesty Hotel during which he renewed the US government’s support for the NTC and a demand that Muammar Gadaffi step down from power.
Mr. Jeffrey Feltman saluted the bravery of the people of Libya standing up to an oppressive regime and their commitment to build a free, united and democratic Libya. “The people of the United States and indeed across the world are inspired by the Libyan courage in efforts to build a unified, and democratic Libya that respects the rights of all citizens”, said the Assistant Secretary.
Libya was not complying with U.N. demands, so the United States would continue with the military campaign, Rhodes told reporters at the G8 summit in France.
Libya’s forces were still in the mode of attacking population centers and troops were at barracks, Rhodes said
Under the deal, Green Network — part of the Libyan African Investment Portfolio (LAP) — will pay 31 billion CFA francs ($65.9 million) for a 51 percent share in a 10 year licence for the communications firms, which will be fused into one.
The investment comes despite Green Network being hit by United Nations sanctions targeting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, with Zambia in March saying it was freezing Green’s assets there. [ID:nLDE72M2AN]
Sonitel was previously controlled by a Chinese-Libyan consortium, Dataport, but the deal was scrapped by Niger’s government in 2009, partly due to a lack of investment.
A union spokesman complained that the new deal would be no better and called for an international tender for the contract. Read more here.
2:34pm: The Group of Eight (G8) powers urged for an end to violence in Syria and Libya, and called for immediate Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Addressing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the leaders urged Damascus to end violent repression and carry out reform, as they sought ways to encourage democracy in their first meeting since the “Arab Spring” uprisings.
“We call on the Syrian leadership to stop using force and intimidation against the Syrian people and to engage in dialogue and fundamental reforms in response to the legitimate expression of the demands of the Syrian people,” the draft, obtained by AFP, said.
According to a draft version of their planned declaration, the leaders of the world’s richest nations were also to urge immediate Israel-Palestinian peace talks, and
G8 member Russia had previously spoken out firmly against foreign intervention in its traditional Middle East ally, and earlier this month rejected calls for a special United Nations Security Council meeting on the country.
On Libya, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday that his country had not yet decided whether to send Apache helicopter gunships to target the forces of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime. Read more about the G8 Meeting here.
Top flyer: Gaddafi’s orders to attack civilians are illegal. Due to this, he is now accused by the ICC of committing crimes against humanity
Bottom flyer: Professional soldiers do not attack civilians. Carrying out orders to do so are against international laws. Do not bring shame to yourself and your families
Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga’s announcement is adding to internal dissent within the opposition movement seeking to topple Gaddafi.
Ghoga, of the National Transitional Council, said at a news conference Wednesday that a one- to two-year transition period would be needed after the hoped-for ouster of Gaddafi.
In that time, he said, the opposition would form a transitional legislative body tasked with writing a constitution, hold a referendum on the charter, form political parties and then hold elections. Some opposition supporters suspect council members are intent on prolonging their power.
1:57pm: Check out CNN’s Interview with the first English radio station in Benghazi TRIBUTE FM here.
Tribute FM is Broadcasting Live Online at TributeFM.Com or 92.4FM Benghazi
1:00pm: It was the first time since the beginning of the uprising in Libya, that the Maltese government officially be engaged in talks with the Transitional Council.In his meeting with Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi at Castille, Shalgam thanked Malta for the support shown towards the Libyan people. “We are grateful for what you have done and we will build our future together. We need you and your skills and we are proud of our friendship,” he said.
Shalgam also asked the Maltese government for recognition – stated that the Libyan Republic’s interim transitional council, led by former justice minister Mustafa Mohammed Abdul Jalil “will respect the treaties in force with Malta, most especially on migration.”
The Prime Minister reiterated Malta’s call that Gaddafi must step down and allow a peaceful transition, adding that Malta had done its utmost in terms of humanitarian assistance and imposed the sanctions as mandated by the UN.
“We’ve received the message and our position lies with the rest of Europe,” a spokesman for the prime minister’s office said.
“Everyone is anxious for there to be an agreement … but certain steps have to be taken first and so far they haven’t been taken,” he said.
British newspaper The Independent reported that al-Mahmoudi had written to a number of foreign governments proposing an immediate ceasefire to be monitored by the United Nations and the African Union.
It said al-Mahmoudi also requested unconditional talks with the opposition, amnesty for both sides in the conflict and the drafting of a new constitution, but made no mention of leader Muammar Gaddafi’s role in the country’s future.
There was no immediate comment from Libya.
12:30pm: Russia and France have reached an agreement on the purchase of four Mistral class helicopter carriers by the Russian navy.
“We have reached a definitive agreement on the two carriers built in France and the two carriers built in Russia,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy said. “The details of the contract have been agreed, and it will be signed in a fortnight,” he told reporters at a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev at a G8 summit in the northern French seaside town of Deauville.
The long-discussed deal is Moscow’s first major foreign arms purchase since the fall of the Soviet Union.
12:20pm: G8 to discuss Libya solutions, aid for Tunisia, Egypt. Leaders of the Group of Eight began gathering in France on Thursday to endorse aid to new Arab democracies, but wrangling among Western and developing economies over who runs the IMF may take up much of their time.
Officials from the G8 — the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia — had held preparatory talks on Wednesday in the seaside resort of Deauville to hammer out common positions on issues ranging from the world economy to Libya’s civil war, Iran’s nuclear goals and unrest in Syria.
“We share a compelling interest in seeing the transitions in Egypt and Tunisia succeed and become models for the region,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote in a letter to the G8 on Wednesday.
“Otherwise, we risk losing this moment of opportunity.”
Libyan state television Al-Jamahiriya said a vocational school was among targets hit. It said the attacks caused “human and material losses” but gave no specific details.
A Reuters staff member in Tripoli reported hearing three small explosions in the last 90 minutes.
Dubai-based Al Arabiya quoted its correspondent in Tripoli as confirming military strikes had taken place but gave no details.
11:31am: African leaders have geared up to demand an outright end to NATO air strikes on Libya, accusing the West of sidelining African nations in efforts to end a conflict on their home turf.
“Some international players seem to be denying Africa any significant role in the seach for a solution to the Libyan conflict,” said African Union Commission chief Jean Ping at a summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
“Africa is not going to be reduced to the status of an observer of its own calamities.”
He added that the AU would call for an end to NATO operations in Libya and demand that its roadmap be used as a basis for a resolution to the conflict.
10:16am: @LibyaAlHurraTV Boy Scouts in Misrata, cleaning up in the city near the Medical College of Technology
8:08am: @NicRobertsonCNN: Electricity still out throughout Nafusa mtns. Rebel cmdrs say never this bad before, threatens to worsen humanitarian situation. Sounds of distant heavy shelling and gunfire in night and this morning
“We have provided material support, including munitions, to Allies and partners engaged in operations in Libya” since April 1, spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said in an email.
The statement marked the first time the Pentagon had publicly confirmed it was providing ammunition to NATO allies, amid reports some countries were running out of supplies of precision-guided bombs or parts. Lapan confirmed that the munitions included precision-guided “smart bombs.”
Since NATO took the lead in the air campaign on April 1, the United States has provided allies and partners with about $24.3 million worth of “repair parts, ammunition, and technical support,” Lapan said.
The UK’s Independent newspaper has published extracts of a letter from the country’s prime minster to a number of governments, proposing an immediate ceasefire and unconditional talks with the opposition.
Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi says: ”The future Libya will be radically different to the one that existed three months ago. That was always the plan … But to do so, we must stop the fighting, start talking, agree on a new constitution and create a system of government that both reflects the reality of our society and conforms to the demands of contemporary governance.”
4:02am: Muammar Gaddafi’s prime minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi will send international leaders a message proposing an immediate UN-monitored ceasefire in Libya, Britain’s Independent reported Thursday.
According to a letter seen by the newspaper, Gaddafi’s regime is ready to enter into unconditional talks with rebels, declare an amnesty for both sides and draft a new constitution.