Piecing Together Gadhafi’s Last Moments
A still-murky-though-becoming-clearer picture of Gadhafi’s final moments on earth are starting to emerge. We know he was in the midst of escaping from Sirte when his convoy was hit by a NATO air strike. He may or may not have been mortally injured in that strike when he took refuge in a large drainage pipe on the side of the road. There, he was found by a young a New York Yankees-hat wearing rebel solider. After that, well, it’s kind of hard to tell what happened next: “There are conflicting reports about how and at whose hands exactly Qaddafi died. It seems pretty certain he was alive when first captured. Al Jazeera aired video…of what is almost surely Qaddafi’s final moments. The once-mighty ex-dictator is seen soaked in blood, apparently disoriented, either being led around by or restrained by ex-rebels, who brandish guns as they yell at him and tug his hair, and he appears to yell back. Still other video taken later of his body being dragged around show him covered in blood everywhere, seeming to be bleeding from the head and other places. Reuters reports Qaddafi died around noon and that an ex-rebel official said Qaddafi died after capture in a firefight between his supporters and his captors.” (CBS http://bit.ly/rcXY6i)
A Mogadishu Massacre?
Al Shabaab is claiming that they have killed 70 African Union peacekeepers from Burundi in what is being billed as the “Mogadishu Massacre.” At least 20 bodies dressed in military uniform were put on display for the press, though so far AMISOM is not saying anything about the alleged incident. “We have killed more than 70 of the enemy soldiers today…We have inflicted heavy losses on them and you can see their dead bodies,’ Shebab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage said, displaying the bodies in the dust to reporters. Photographs show long lines of at least 20 bodies dressed in military uniform laid out in the sand, surrounded by a crowd with their faces covered. Witnesses confirmed that the dead bodies were displayed in the extremist Shebab-controlled Alamada area, some 18 kilometres (11 miles) outside the war-torn capital late Thursday, and that the bodies were not Somalis.” (France 24 http://f24.my/rlRdpZ)
Clinton in Pakistan Skips the Pleasantries.
It’s no secret that things are not quite hunky-dory between the United States and Pakistan, what with the USA launching attacks inside Pakistan and Pakistani based militants launching attacks on American targets in Afghanistan. In a visit to the region today,Clinton got right down to business: “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Pakistan to deliver a U.S. warning that the nation will pay ‘a very big price’ if it fails to move against the Islamic militants staging cross-border attacks against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Clinton flew to Islamabad from Afghanistan, where she said yesterday that Pakistan needs to be ‘be part of the solution,’ not part of the problem. Pakistan, she said, must wipe out sanctuaries for terrorists who attack across the border into Afghanistan. U.S. and Afghan authorities say the militants enjoy support from Pakistan’s intelligence services…This is ‘a time for clarity. It is a time for people to declare themselves as to how we are going to work together,’ Clinton said during a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in front of the presidential palace in Kabul. “We intend to push Pakistan very hard. ‘No one should be in any way mistaken about allowing this to continue without paying a very big price,’ (WaPo http://wapo.st/q7PuHo)
Musical Chairs at the Security Council
Security Council elections are taking place in New York today. Gabon and Nigeria are on their way out, leaving two spots open for three African candidates (Mauritania, Morocco, Togo). Lebanon is leaving its seat in the Asia-Pacific Group for which Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan will vie. Bosnia bids farewell with Azerbaijan, Hungary and Slovenia competing for the eastern European slot. Guatemala is running uncontested for the seat vacated by Brazil. (Security Council Report http://bit.ly/osvOaX)
Gazing into the Crystal Ball: Al Shabaab seems poised the strike. Kenya’s military incursion into Somalia coupled with efforts to kick out sympathizers from Nairobi have not made them happy. With the bold kidnapping of two MSF workers, threats of violence, and even accusations of an attempted attack in Mexico City the outlook is not very good.