tv BBC World News PBS August 23, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PDT
>> and now, "bbc world news." >> hello. >> colonel gaddafi's son saif al-islam says that his father is safe. the fighting continues, president obama praises the libyan people for their extraordinary sacrifice. >> this much is clear, the gaddafi regime is coming to an end. the future of libya as in the hands of its people. >> prosecutors in new york asking a judge to drop charges against dominique strauss-kahn. it is 11:00 a.m. in singapore. >> it is 4:00 a.m. here in london. welcome.
>> a day after rebel forces in libya said they had captured the second son of colonel gaddafi, he has spoken to the bbc and says government forces are winning the battle for tripoli. saif al-islam was seen at his father's compound and the city. he spoke to our correspondent. >> in the dark of the tripoli night, saif al-islam emerged from the shadows, clearly not under rubble rest. -- rebel arrest. >> i want to refute all rumors. nato and the west, they have launched electronic warfare.
they have managed to smuggle into the country gangs and saboteurs. the libyan people, men and women, have stood firm against them. they managed to break the hold of the rebels. >> he took a foreign cameraman on a toro part of the city. they drove past checkpoints controlled by gaddafi loyalists, past groups of people lining up to be given weapons. it was a short drive that covered a sizable area around colonel gaddafi's compound on the southeastern part of tripoli. clearly, these are in government hands. saif al-islam's convoy has just left here. he told us they had broken the back bone of the rebels. we gave them a hard time, so we
are winning, he said. saif al-islam appeared to be brimming with confidence, pumped full of a bird -- adrenaline. he was smiling. where precisely the balance of power lies is unclear. in parts of the capital, rebel forces are in control. after their astonishing advance on tripoli over the weekend, they believe victory is within sight. >> of course, the people won the battle. gaddafi is gone. he is not dead yet, but he is dead. he is gone. >> they are meeting fierce resistance from gaddafi forces. it is clear that loyalists are fighting back in parts of tripoli. the sudden appearance of saif al-islam, said just yesterday to
open captured, will only embolden them further. >> as rebels continued to battle government forces in several areas of the capital, our correspondents report from libya to other major cities. >> there is certainly a lot of jubilation here. they came out onto the streets. i suspect there will be a similar scene tonight. there is relief because this is the home of the revolution, where it began. the early days, the outcome seemed very far from certain. what happens over the next few days? we are still in the military phase of this. they're still sending reinforcements from here. we had an extraordinary news
conference from the leaders of the national transitional council. he was worried about revenge attacks. he had been given assurances by the military command, but he was still worried they would live up to their assurances. he did see people acting outside the law, to take advantage, he would resign his position. there -- that is a glimpse of the tensions behind the movement. >> there are still critical questions about the rebel advances inside tripoli and how much they control. they have a large degree of control and possibly over the majority of districts. there are still positive resistance proving to be very stubborn -- pockets of resistance proving to be very stubborn. this is something to the rebels always anticipated. if we assume this scenario plays
out, as it seems to be, with the removal of colonel gaddafi, is there political leadership and benghazi in a position to step in and take things forward? there have been key concerns about that from the beginning. it is a very disparate group of people looking together in a moment of chaos, at a time when they demanded around the idea of getting rid of the libyan leader. the question is, what happens next? i think there is some nervousness about that. we had quite revealing statement this afternoon from the chairman. he warned that he would resign if there were >> of revenge by fighters inside tripoli. they are aware that this is a very precarious moment, politically and militarily. they have to try and keep calm in tripoli and avoid the pitfalls of the conditions that we have seen in places like iraq.
the west is watching very carefully to see how they handle it. >> we are joined on the line -- he lives in a suburb of tripoli. thank you very much for joining us. tell us what has been happening in the capital where you are at the moment. >> hello? >> thank you for joining us. describe what has happened in your suburb. >> at the moment, it is a bit quiet. the electorate has been shut down in all of tripoli. -- electric has been shut down in all of tripoli. >> we understand that there has been a power failure affecting parts of the capital. have you heard any gunfire in your area?
>> yes. about two hours ago. at the moment, it is all right. >> what do you think is happening between gaddafi forces on the rebels of the moment? >> i think there is going to be a big fight. >> tell us what happened yesterday. we understand that the rebels came into the capital. did that also happen in your suburb? >> about 90% is under control right now. the gaddafi soldiers are trying to, you know, [unintelligible] >> you said that you heard gunfire. have you heard any air strikes taking place? >> i heard a lot of bomb attacks, yes. >> describe what happens when you heard those.
>> it is scary. yes, it is scary. all of the people are scared. >> are you worried about what is going to happen? >> the people are worried, yes. we are not sure yet. gaddafi is down, but we do not know yet. >> what are you going to do? are you planning on taking part in any of the rebel advances? >> yes, of course. all the people in my area, they have a lot of guns. we have to defend ourselves. >> we appreciate you joining us. thank you for that.
we can bid for analysis with the director of global security. listening to that, george, gaddafi's men -- we have seen saif al-islam four or five hours ago. what is your reaction of his appearance? >> the latest extraordinary episodes in the rather extra in their conflict. -- an extraordinary conflict. we should not overestimate too much the significance of this. the reality is that tripoli does remain surrounded on all sides, as it was before. the opposition moved in, and clearly, there are significant forces that are now under the rebels control.
this is the fear. what is going to happen to us a free ride that? we are at the stage now where the rebels can instill confidence in people, to finally get rid of gaddafi, that is the only thing that is holding them back. >> how will they do that? >> it is very difficult, indeed. they have done very well in recent days and weeks, encouraging uprising in the various towns outside of tripoli. if they can get some decent hold on the suburbs that they now control, and start moving into other suburbs, as much as convincing the libyan people to
uprise will be convincing regime forces that are still loyal that there is nothing more to be gained. the key there is to convince them that if they do defect, it it will not be out of the frying pan into the fire. there is a place for them and they will be safe. if they are not guilty of crimes, they can have a part in the post-gaddafi future. >> house seat -- how successful has the nato offensive then -- been? >> the 1973, the u.n. resolution does exist. for the purposes of protecting the libyan people. there is no question in my mind that the primary threat to the libyan people always came from the gaddafi regime. it is testimony to the rebels that there have not been reprisal attacks in the towns
and cities that they have recaptured. testimony to the stoppage of the chairman. i will resign if there are reprisal killings. nato is not the rebel air force. let's make that absolutely clear. have they been controversial and striking targets? it was the regime that was attacking civilians. that is what precipitated the intervention in the first place. let's not forget that. >> thank you very much. >> still to come on the program, syria's government is accused of operating a ship-to- kill policy. >> hurricane irene is strengthening as it moves in on the eastern seaboard.
libya what was once responsible for about 2% of the world's oil production. production has slumped since the war began in february. it will be years before output is put back to normal. >> since march this year, anti- gadhafi rebels have been trying to reopen oil field as a top priority. despite their efforts, there has been considerable damage to pipelines, oil field, and storage facilities. this amateur footage shows an attack on the oilfield perpetrated by gaddafi loyalists. oil production stopped as a result. officials from the national oil company say it some oil could flow within three weeks. more meaningful production is likely to take much longer. >> in order to return exports this will likely take six to 12 months, if not more.
>> getting libya's oil flowing again will be as much about politics as it is about repairs. the biggest oil fields are in the east of the country. the oil field and the west are still the subject of u.s. export sanctions. it is unclear who is in charge politically. >> what after gaddafi? but he was going to come to power? -- who is going to come to power? how much do we know about the rebels? we do not know anything. >> when the war started in libya, the price of oil rose steeply. with war apparently coming to an end, there is always been a small storm in the price so far. that is because of fears about the global economy have already pushed prices down. there is still uncertainty about how and when libya can resume sizable deliveries. >> hello, everyone.
saidlonel gaddafi's son forces loyal to his father are winning the battle in tripoli. >> as fighting continues, president obama has praised the american -- the libyan people for their extradition hearing sacrifice. -- extraordinary sacrifice. the syrian government has been accused of operating a shoot- to-kill policy on its own people. speaking at a special session of the u.n. human rights council,
he called on the government to -- a u.n. convoy travels on monday, at deployed to assess the situation on the ground. the people following the cars appear to be chanting against the syrian president. at this one person was shot dead by government forces and the city on monday. it is actions like these who have grown the outrage -- drawn the outrage of the international community. >> the military and security forces have resorted to an apparent shoot-to-kill policy. snipers on rooftops have targeted protesters. >> but human rights council is expected to issue a resolution condemning the attacks and
calling for a u.n. investigation, something syria has rejected outright. >> the resolution will cause the crisis to lengthen and will only cause more instability. on this basis, we call upon the council not to support the draft resolution in order to maintain peace and security in syria. >> all this comes a week after the president a short the you and that military operations in syria had ceased. in a statement, it is troubling that he has not kept his word. world leaders have been telling him to halt military operations, killing his own people. if the ongoing situation is to be believed, that maybe somewhere else. >> the first hurricane of the atlantic season has gained strength as it passes north of the dominican republic after causing widespread damage in pr.
-- puerto rico. it is generating winds of more than 150 kph. he joins us on the line. thank you so much for joining us. first of all, how dangerous is this hurricane? >> earlier this evening, our aircraft discovered that irene had intensified a little bit more rapidly. at present, it is a category two. >> it is now the dominican republic, and it is set to have an impact in haiti, a country that is still recovering from a devastating earthquake. >> correct.
we are, in fact, monitoring that situation. the center is slightly north of the dominican republic and is expected to pass slightly north of haiti. the number most parts of haiti are likely to receive some heavy rainfall. at the moment, most of the rainfall remains north of haiti over the ocean. >> what is your advice to residents who will be affected by this hurricane? >> those that are under hurricane warnings at the moment, that includes the entire northern coast of the dominican republic, as well as the bahamas. all of these areas will feel hurricane conditions in the next day. particularly in the bahamas. it looks as if irene will track
very closely to the bahamas. we recommend that they take precautions as soon as possible. >> from the national hurricane center in miami, florida, to a sum much. charges of sexual assault leveled at the former head of the imf, dominique strauss-kahn, are to be dropped. prosecutors in new york held talks this evening. the case is expected to be formally dismissed on tuesday. >> she accused one of the world's most powerful men of sexual assault. today, the hotel maid was told by prosecutors that the case would be dropped. her lawyer blasted the district attorney. >> he has turned his back on the forensic, medical, and other
physical evidence in this case. >> a short walk away, dominique strauss-kahn remained out of sight at his manhattan town house where he has been living on bail. with no other witnesses to the alleged assault, this case has turned on the credibility. she gave up her right to anonymity. >> he grabbed my breast. i said, the stock. >> at first, prosecutors called a major account compelling. they said forensic evidence proved there was a sexual encounter. but then she changed her account of the movement and the hotel immediately after the alleged assault. >> you have -- >> lawyers have indicated that
in a sexual contact was consensual. earlier this month, she filed a civil lawsuit. all this comes down to is this. prosecutors did not believe they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a forced sexual encounter. tomorrow, they will ask a judge to dismiss the case. >> more on our top story, the situation in libya. >> i am joined by the director of global security at the henry jackson society with some final thoughts. what is next for libya? how do you think they're going to be able to operate to in a post-gaddafi era? >> assuming that gaddafi goes, in spite of what we have been talking about this evening, we can predict that he will be gone
sooner rather than later. the fundamental key has to be that the rebels abide by the stated plan to incorporate as much of the existing architecture as possible. if they tried to sweep aside all vestiges, there will be chaos. actually, the chairman has made it clear that he wants cooperation. we know from the blueprint that was released earlier this month that they require at least recruiting regime officials. that is what has helped to facilitate the initial advances in tripoli. the plan to incorporate between 10 and 15,000 regime security forces to form the backbone of any security force. that has to be key. getting the oil restarted, getting that pumping. that is lydia's greatest economic asset. -- that is libya's greatest
economic assets. >> the challenge for them is that they have not all later, other than the chairman that he mentioned. will there be a power vacuum? >> no, i do not think there needs to be a power vacuum. that is a doomsday scenario. if the rebels are geared to their plan, i think a power vacuum is not inevitable. >> we will have to leave it there. thank you so much for joining us. you have been watching bbc. thank you for watching.