Thursday, February 24, 2011

LIBYA - With opponents in the East

"Your papers, please," because the young man in civilian clothes armed with an AK-47 to the Libyan border. "What for? Replies Saleh, bearded and stocky our driver who took us on board some moments earlier. There is no government. What for? " He pressed the accelerator with a scornful laugh. The Libyan side, there are more civil servants, passport control, customs.

It's a real mess. Men and adolescents, wielding batons, pistols and submachine guns, trying to impose some order. Hundreds of Egyptian workers seek from their belongings, bags, blankets, all the bric-a-brac piled on the roofs of buses. During the single day of Monday, February 21, Egyptian officials say, 15,000 people have crossed the border.

"Welcome to Libya free," said one young armed men who now control the crossing. Having left the border area, we stopped to get gas - there is no tail. Some shops are open, the electricity works, mobile phones too, but we can not call abroad. In contrast, the Internet has been cut for days.

However, we meet regularly with other groups of young men in civilian clothes and armed, who stop vehicles, verify identities, asking questions. All are surprised but pleased to see the first television crew to enter into Libya since the uprising began Feb. 15. They are polite, although obviously the head is turning a bit.

What's more normal, they come to get rid of the yoke of Muammar Gaddafi, in power for 42 years (more than the average age of the population). As we move westward, Saleh will not let me catalog the sins of the Gaddafi family and his minions: "Did you see the ruts on the road disgusting? There should be a four lane highway.

Gaddafi has hardly spent a dinar for this region of the country. "" You see this gite? is the son of Gadhafi who had it built, and it has overcharged the government. "" You see this house? "It was stolen from its owner and given to a son of Gaddafi." "You see those lights? is an ammunition dump which an army officer loyal to Qadhafi fired before flee to Tripoli.

"It also gives me what I consider to be good advice." If you are arrested by the forces of Gaddafi, saying you are a German doctor. Do not say you are a journalist. And say colleagues are also doctors. "When we finally arrive at destination - I can not reveal the name - we go to a villa where discreet we are greeted by a dozen men who struggle to hide their enthusiasm.

After endless handshakes, hugs and greetings, a man of fifty, dressed in a black coat and a red sweater, is making its way through the crowd. "You must show the world what happened here. We'll show you everything, everything! " Let's call him Ahmed, and he presents himself as a leader of "resistance".

He made a short study visit to the United States, but his academic career was interrupted when he was sentenced to three years in prison for having taken the lead in student demonstrations against Gaddafi in the 70s. He accompanies us in our rooms, we ask questions about American football, baseball, American University where he studied.

I managed to drag myself some questions. He told me in the east, the army has joined the anti-Gaddafi but there are still elements that operate pro-Gaddafi (and therefore we must be very careful). Like so many others in the region, he is keenly aware that their struggle against the regime looks tough, that the blood will still flow.

For now, they feel driven by their success, but they are under no illusions and know that Gaddafi will not hesitate to deploy all his arsenal, aviation, mercenaries, whatever it takes to keep power. At the border, a man asked me: "You saw that he used helicopters and warplanes against demonstrators in Tripoli today? This is genocide."

No comments:

Post a Comment