Libyan military calls for a new cease-fire

By Kase Wickman
Sunday, March 20, 2011 18:16 EDT
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A second attempt at a military cease-fire in Libya may be on the horizon, after Operation Odyssey Dawn began Saturday. Coalition military efforts have reportedly crippled Libya’s ground troops and air capabilities.

According to UKPA, the new cease-fire was issued under a general banner of the Libyan government, and Gaddafi was not named specifically.

“We, the Popular Social Leadership of Libya, recommend to the armed forces to announce an immediate ceasefire to all military units,” said a government spokesperson in Tripoli, after an afternoon of heavy artillery fire in the area.

Libyan government representatives have said that women, children and civilians have been wounded by the international coalition’s forces, but in a press conference earlier today, Joint Staff Director Vice Admiral Bill Gortney said Sunday afternoon that there has been no indication of civilian casualties.

The Libyan military agreed to a cease-fire Friday, but by Saturday, troops were marching toward rebel-held Benghazi. Gortney, however, expressed doubts that there would be a real cease-fire any time soon.

“I question anything that Gaddafi calls for,” he said. “He called for a cease-fire and then he moved his troops into Benghazi after the cease-fire.”

Gorney is not the only skeptic.

“As with previous cease-fire announcements, we have to wait and see if it’s genuine,” U.S. Africa Command spokesman Vince Crawley told CNN. “We urge the Libyan government to do everything it can to demonstrate its sincerity.”

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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