Nafusa Mountains and urgent information

Shabab Below are some reports from the Nafusa Mountains that express the dire situation faced by the people in the towns that have been under siege or attack from Gaddafi forces for weeks.

Desperate call from Yefren May 27, 2011

A caller from Yefren, a city besieged by Gaddafi forces for over 7 weeks now, call for an immediate response from the world to the ongoing crisis these people are facing. The situation is grave and people are dying daily from the bombardments, from the lack of food, from the lack of water, lack of medical supplies, lack of electricity, lack of fuel. They are trapped and are suffering from both daily attacks by Gaddafi’s forces and the ongoing stravation.

Listen to the call:

Listen!

Report from Kikla
Dear All,

We need urgent attention to evacuate injured civilians from the ground in Kekla. There is no medical equipement or doctors on the ground. There has been fierce fighting today since the morning. The area of Yefren including Algalaa and Kekkla is under complete siege from the 3rd of April. The area has no food, water, medical supplies.

Today
So far there has been 3 civilian deaths, Mr Abdofateh Alsakour; Basheer Salam Esa; Abdo gader Basheer Esa. There is five serious cases which include compoung fracture, coma and other wounds. We need urgent action from the ICRC and relevant NGO’s to evacuate and treat these civilians. This adds to the 30 civilians who are injured and require medical attention. We are expecting civilian casualties to increase. There is now a bombardement that is taking place now in Kekkla, Yefren and Algalaa with Grad missiles and cluster bombs. Please note the only hospital in the region is in the Yefren Administrative District (Suuk District) which is in the hand of G Forces. We need urgent evacuation to save the lives of these innocent civilians.

We can assist in this coordination effort with MICC (Maltese International Crisis Centre). We recommend the use of helicopters.

PLEASE ACT NOW TO SAVE LIVES

Regards,

Abdo Al Herrari

Press Release Nafousa Mountains

PRESS RELEASE

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,

A MESSAGE TO THE WORLD ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE OF YEFREN AND ALGALA’A
– NAFUSA MOUNTAINS, LIBYA

We are approaching the seventh week of a complete siege on the cities of Yefren, Al-Gala’a (since April 3). Approximately 7000 to 10,000 civilian men, women and children have been trapped in the cities of Yefren and Al-Gala’a, suffering these past 7 weeks under the continuous siege of the area by Gaddafi loyalist troops. The only region under complete tight siege in Libya …..Torture. Starvation. Disease. Under the harsh conditions of these relentless attacks, both physical and psychological scars have been inflicted upon the people. The trauma cuts deeper and deeper as the days go by. Every second of their lives has become a constant struggle for survival. Yet the desperate cries of these people have gone largely unnoticed by both the Libyan and the International communities. When will the eyes in the sky assist to protect these people? When will the world respond to halt an exponentially worsening human catastrophe?

On behalf of the Libyan People in Yefren (Largest Amazigh City in Libya), this is an URGENT and SERIOUS appeal to International Humanitarian Agencies, the United Nations, the ICRC, NATO, and the NTC. Additionally, we would also like to put forward the proposal of a collaboration and partnership with local humanitarian workers, with the exception of the Libyan Red Crescent that is situated in Tripoli, to implement an aid corridor to these areas. This aid corridor will ensure that these helpless civilian men, women and children will be protected and innocent lives saved. I trust we can respond to this humane request before it is too late.

The cities of Yefren and Al-Gala’a in particular are in highly critical situations. Both cities have been under complete siege by Gaddafi forces since April 3rd 2011. Yefren and Al-Gala’a are inhabited by the indigenous Amazigh minority, also largely referred to as Berbers, who can be traced back to 4000 BC. For years, Gaddafi has forcibly denied the Amazigh people their culture and language, banning it from official use within the country. Censorship, discrimination, and incarceration; Gaddafi essentially denies their existence. His direct hatred for these people is not unknown; the relentless persecution of the Amazigh during Gaddafi’s rule has been rife. Many Amazigh activists advocating their cause have been imprisoned, exiled and even executed.

As such, it comes to no surprise that the Gaddafi forces have specifically targeted the Amazigh people in these two cities, threatening to wipe out the entire population. An epidemic of the ethnic cleansing of the Amazigh has broken out. At this very moment in time, Yefren and Al-Gala’a are experiencing a rampant form of such ethnic cleansing by the Gaddafi regime. Families from Yefren, currently living in Tripoli, have also been targeted by Gaddafi through mass arrests and persistent harassment. In the past 48 hours, the number of Gaddafi forces has vastly increased, allowing them to take control of more vital position within the region, including the city centre, small valleys and strategic positions on hills. Essentially, these forces have blocked all routes into and out of the cities, strangling the people’s only means of reaching utterly vital necessities, such as food and water.

With electricity cut off for over two months, access to cash impossible, and gas and petrol levels at virtually non-existent levels, the people live in isolation within the region. Water supplies have also been cut off by Gaddafi forces, and food supplies are rapidly diminishing. Deliveries are unable to get in; the people are unable to get out. Medicine supplies have diminished. Access to medical supplies is impossible. The people of Yefren and Al-Gala’a urgently need your help.

The brutality of the Gaddafi forces in these regions must not go unimpeded. We implore upon the UN, the NTC, NATO and all international humanitarian agencies involved: please help the citizens of Yefren and Al-Gala’a. Help them before we witness first-hand a modern holocaustal massacre of an entire population of people by their own leader. Help them before their blood stains not only the hands of Gaddafi’s men. Help them before it is too late.

Prepared below are key humanitarian stress indicators that have triggered this appeal. We have also provided the main locations of the Gaddafi forces that are attacking civilians in Yefren and Al-Gala’a as well as preventing humanitarian aid accessing them. Consequently, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who believe in Humanity; to thank those in the Libyan community, international institutions and Governments and the humanitarian citizens of the world. We welcome the international coalition and the support in taking the bold decision to protect the civilians of Libya by “taking all necessary measures”. We thank the millions of people and civil contributors who believe in their duty to defend the fundamental rights of human beings: subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, identity and freedom.

I would also like to personally thank you in advance for taking this information seriously, and we also thank the civilians who have risked their lives in continuing to collect this information for you. For any enquiries, or if you require further information or assistance from sources on the ground and local humanitarian personnel, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Abdo Al. Herrari
alherrari@gmail.com

Main humanitarian stress report from Yefren and Algalaa

Yefren and Algalaa have been under complete siege and daily attack on civilians by Gaddafi forces since April 3, 2011.
There has been no electricity, gas and petrol for two months. The financial institutions in Yefren and Algalaa have been closed and there has been no access to cash since February 17th 2011. Between 7000 and 10,000 civilians are trapped in the towns of Yefren and Algalaa, the remainder appx. 160,000 civilians have been displaced to other towns in the Nafusa Mountains , Tripoli and Tunisia prior to the complete siege(Normally, population of Yefren and Algalaa is estimated to be in the range of 170 000 or more including Awiniya and Riyanah, etc).

Water
Water wells in Romiya region taken by Gaddafi forces and no water supply to people in Yefren and Algalaa. People now depend on water collected from rain in reservoirs, which is also ending this week and turning to water is contaminated with worms. The reservoirs that have been located by Gaddafi have been contaminated with oil. The Main Water Tank in Saffeet for Yefren and Algalaa has been damaged by missile and has been out of operation since the 4th of April 2011.

Food
No food has entered since the 1st of March, no vegetables, fruits. There is no possibility to get food in and milk to children especially for those under 6 months old. People have been living on Macaroni. Food supplies from warehouses have finished and supplies including spaghetti, oil and tomato are expected to run out in the next two weeks. Souk district has about 80% of supermarkets and food stores and were taken away by Gaddafi forces. Alglaa Souk is mostly for clothes and other thing with smaller food stores.

Illness
There is no access to medicine or refrigerators to store the medicine (For diabetics, high blood pressure, and heart, vaccination and cancer patients). The temperature is now over 30 degrees. There is also no access to hospital as Yefren hospital taken by Gaddafi snipers. Clinics are inexistent in Yefren and Algalaa and the majority of doctors were foreigners and have fled. Herbal medicine is being used where possible. There has been two cases of heart attacks with As regards to illnesses, estimates as follows: 1. Diabetics and hypertensive: appx. 500 cases; 2. Epilepsy: about 10 cases; 3. Cardiac problems 50 or more; 4. known civilians that are wounded 30-50 that have no access to treatment (cases included infected wounds; injuries occurred due to shelling of civilian areas and there are those from direct conflict; 5. Cancer: about 10 that require urgent attention for daily dialysis; 6. Leshmania: endemic and it starts in May. 7. Children: diarrhoea, dryness, and other common problems of children, etc; 8. Ladies problems, appx. 50 known miscarriages due to hardship, 9. Others: Psychiatric problems; social problems,

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13 Responses to Nafusa Mountains and urgent information

  1. Fredy says:

    The people in the Nafusa mountains have been asking for help but it seems they are not being heard. There has been no comments.

  2. just one person in england says:

    Quite right Fredy.

    There has been a kind of silence about this part of the conflict.

    Perhaps there are practical diffulties in the way of relieving this awful situation, but if so, I don’t hear anyone explaining them.

  3. Fredy says:

    Thanks JOP in England.

    But here we are you and me awake and alert to their needs.

    At least we show we care for them.

  4. ankhwashitaw says:

    I’ve said 45 fricking times, that council aint shyytttt, and Obama aint shyttttttt…

    They don’t really give a fu-ck. It’s time for eastern libya to excercise teir right to protest, by protesting those muthabuckas….If not, they’ll pick off the real freedom figters one by one, just like in the video I saw the other day where the mans brother was shot in the head while the were wrking a gun……If that didn’t sound like friendly fire.Those b-itches still work for gaddaffi, and obama still works for the companies that work with him…….Seems as if WW3 is unavoidable ………………………What sefish bastards……

  5. David says:

    Watch this video of Zintan, no single person on the street, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgFb_M0Wsvg

    So there are only rebels left, so all this seem to be good news, more rebels dead better for Libya.

    Sure rebels were fast to close roads to keep population hostage, but Army will take Zintan soon and liberate people inside.

    (Reuters May 23) – The rebels said it would be easy: roll in, block the road, raise the flag — another village under their writ in Libya’s Western Mountains.

    The villagers are with us, the rebels said of their fellow Berbers — an ethnic minority that rose up against Muammar Gaddafi at the very start of the rebellion in February.

    “Only a few support Gaddafi, maybe five or six,” said Omar, commander of the rebel unit from the nearby town of Kabaw.

    His call-sign was Rambo. But the operation, which began on Sunday afternoon with the rebels gathering over coffee at a roadside cafe, ended an hour later in angry confrontation, tense retreat and a lesson in the divided loyalties and half-truths of this particular theater of Libya’s conflict.

    “Only seven or eight people here don’t like Gaddafi,” Mohammed, a resident of Tamzin, quietly told a reporter.

    The truth probably lay somewhere in the middle, like Tamzin itself and dozens of other towns and villages wedged between the rebels who hold most of the plateau and forces loyal to Gaddafi mainly in the desert plains.

    The rebels control a road running more than 200 kilometers across the top of the mountain range from the border with Tunisia, the war’s western front.

    They wanted to close an adjoining artery that cuts through Tamzin and down the mountainside to a town where pro-Gaddafi forces and their artillery are positioned, some 20 kilometers further on.

    The road was a security threat, they said, and arrived heavily armed in a convoy of around a dozen pick-up trucks, young rebels wrapped in the flag of the uprising.

    “BLACK OR WHITE”

    The Berber of the Western Mountains were among the first to hoist the rebel colors, seeing a chance to reassert an identity denied them under Gaddafi.

    But the Kabaw rebels were met by angry, unarmed Tamzin villagers, who, though ethnic kin, also happen to shop in the Gaddafi-held town in the plains, which, unlike the choked plateau, has an open route for goods from Tripoli.

    “This is the main road for us,” said a man who gave his name as Ali. “Food comes through it. If you close it off, we’ll die here.”

    Others appeared offended by the rebels, with their mud-smeared trucks and casual weapons-handling. “Why are they coming to my town with guns?” asked Mohammed, who said he worked for an oil company in Tripoli.

    “There are families here. I like my life, I like Gaddafi.”

    A few of the Libyan leader’s green flags were flying from pylons. Rebels said the Tamzin villagers were scared of the pro-Gaddafi forces such a short distance away.

    But allegiances are not always easy to discern in the Western Mountains, with sometimes fatal consequences.

    When rebels in Zintan, at the far eastern edge of the rebel-held strip, tried to cut off a road used by pro-Gaddafi forces near the village of Ryayna earlier this month, a shooting match erupted in which at least six rebels died.

    A commander blamed Gaddafi army snipers, but other rebels spoke of a clash with pro-Gaddafi villagers of a different tribe, enraged by the intrusion. Ryayna’s loyalties remain the subject of much speculation in Zintan.

    It is a question that may weigh heavily on this region once the war is over and the winners hold the losers to account.

    The rebels said they would return to Tamzin within two days.

    “I told them, ‘You are either with Gaddafi or with the rebels’,” the commander, Omar, said after the retreat. “It’s black or white, no grey.”

    (Editing by Louise Ireland and Jan Harvey)

  6. Harald says:

    This is a painfull situation.
    Lybia is such a vast country.
    Liberating the smaller settlements and protecting the civilians in the more remote regions of Lybia is a very challenging task.
    Nato and the allied forces cannot stop loyalist ground forces and secret police from commiting crimes against the civilians from the air alone as long the army units are in secure control of the settlements.
    As for the TNC forces their army is limited in numbers, equipment and training.
    They have to choose their battles and offensives wisely.
    That is another very difficult part of being a dutiful military commander caring for the civilians.
    In this case the TNC command has rightly decided to train and equip their troops in striking distance of Brega before launching an offensive.
    They will need every able bodied volunteer to break and defeat Ghaddaffis forces at Brega to win the war.
    They cannot send many men to other critical locations in Lybia.
    So they know that many people will suffer further by loyalist forces, but TNC has to concentrate their forces to achieve final victory.
    I think that this random attacking of civilians in towns and villages by Ghaddafis forces has additionaly the intention to disperse the TNC forces as they try to defend too much places.
    Another reason to end this conflict by removing Ghaddafi and his family from power.

    • just one person in england says:

      That is all credible speculation I think, Harald, but is there no way to drop aid from the air or something like that? Water, medicines, essential needs? Maybe that’s impossible but nobody is even talking about it so far as I know, so I just don’t know what the reality is. Misrata – eventually, and dangerously – got relief via the sea. Nafusa’s only lifeline is presumably the Tunisian border, but that is precarious and obviously not adequate.

      NATO does attack Gadaffy forces in the area, but maybe not enough. They may be judging that their resources will have more effect elsewhere, or that the mountains offer some natural security. But that’s only a guess for which I have no evidence either way. What really are the facts of what seems like silent neglect?

      • Harald says:

        Like you i don’t have the complete picture on the ground.
        I can only try to analyze the limited information with my limited knowlegde of military affairs and history.
        Relieving the people of Yefren and Kekla is a very difficult task.
        As you said Misrata has the port.
        Thus after the misratan fighters secured the port and Nato destroyed much of the lybian artillery and navy, enough supply could get in and the injured could be evacuated.
        Supplying Yefren and Kekla by air is very difficult and dangerous.
        There is no secure airfield to land there.
        Supplying by parachute drop is notorically inaccurate and needs a rather big ground area in secure control (else the loyalist forces will pick up most of the goods).
        Also the transport aircraft are very vulnerable to air defense fire and ground fire by Ghaddafi’s forces.
        So i speculate that the commanding general of Nato deems airdrop as too unrelyable and too dangerous.
        I believe that sadly at the current moment TNC and Nato just cannot do much more out of reasons of military strategy and available forces in that area.
        Hopefully Nato gets some more fighterbomber available for this area in the future.
        Pehaps Nato can deliver some supplies at the tunisian border so that western TNC fighters can smuggle them to Yefren and Kekla.

  7. just one person in england says:

    Probably NATO should swith from dropping bombs on Libyan civilians to brigning some aid long needed, especially to Tripoli and other Western Libyan cities which have been under NATO medeivel siege for 2 months now.

    NATO has long overstepped its mandate, now it is time to change and to really start protecting civilians and not armed thugs.

    • Harald says:

      Stop writing with other peoples webnames.
      The gentleman you are trying to emulate writes in english without spelling errors.
      You are making several spelling errors.
      If you have something to say, write it under your webname.

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