In all fairness how much longer will it be until something like this happens to one of ‘Our’ cities?
Misrata Militia May Have Restricted Who May Enter Libyan City, Now There Is NOTHING Left It's Been Wiped Out.
Misrata was established around the 7th-century during the beginning of modern Libya's rule by theIslamic Caliphate. It began as a major caravan supply center and was referred to "Thubaqt".Some contemporary sources say the town existed before Islamic rule, during the Roman Empire era and that its initial Arabic name derived from its Roman name "Thubactis." D. J. Mattingly, author of Tripoltania, a comprehensive reference book on northwestern Libya, stated that identification of Misrata as the ancient "Thubactis" is particularly problematic, complicated and "defies an easy answer." Nonetheless the Roman town is variously located somewhere on the oasis which the modern city sits on. The two common identifications are at the eastern and western anchorages of modern Misrata or south and inland of the city. The Roman town was recorded as one of the six municipia (small city) of the Tripolitania province, a rank below coloniae (major city.)
It is possible to reconcile the two theories by assuming that the city was initially founded by the Romans and was then known as Tubartisbut later (after a period of disappearance or in a slightly different location) it was refounded by the Muslim conquests and named Thubactis. In any case, in the 7th Century, it served as a caravan supply centre.
Wags now quip that a visa is needed to enter Misrata because of the tight restrictions on access to the large coastal city. But it's no joke to the people here.
At a checkpoint 20 miles outside Misrata, dozens of cars are parked in the hot sun waiting for permission to enter. But most are being turned away. Mohammed Abdullah, who has been sitting by for hours, has family in Misrata but is being barred from entering.
"I didn't know this was going to happen," Abdullah says. "We are all Libyans. We should help each other. You see all these people? They are trying to see their families. Many women are crying. Misrata has become like its own country."
The 30,000 people living in a town in northern Libya have been driven out of their homes, in what appears to have been an act of revenge for their role in the three-month siege of the city of Misrata. So what really happened in the town of Tawergha, are the accusations of brutality against the town's residents fair and what does it say about hopes for national unity?
"No, they can never come back… They have done us too much harm, terrible things. We cannot forgive them."
|British prime minister David (R) Cameron greets Bahrain’s King Hamad Al Khalifa inside Number 10 Downing Street (Getty Images)|
- Britain's top soldier warned on Wednesday that pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East could spawn militant Islamist activity in Britain, but said the greatest threat was economic.
In his end-of-year analysis of the dangers facing Britain, the chief of the defense staff, General David Richards, said the Arab Spring could stir unrest in Britain's immigrant communities.
"(There is) the risk that the Arab awakening leads to fissures and internal conflict that could be exported, including militant Islamism," Richards told a defense thinktank, the Royal United Services Institute, in London.
"They have diasporas reaching back to this country, as does Pakistan and other states struggling with instability."
People who have endured civil war, oppression under a brutal religious sect and starvation now find themselves caught between the lines of a border conflict that is entering a new and dangerous phase.
Kenya's invasion of Somalia, hailed by the West and the UN Security Council, was meant to deliver a knockout blow to the militant Islamist group al-Shabaab. Instead it has pulled Somalia's regional rival Ethiopia back into the country, stirred up the warlords and rekindled popular support for fundamentalists whose willingness to let Somalis starve rather than receive foreign aid had left them widely hated.
Nuur Matan, with his camouflage cap and business suit, is part of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) that the UN and the foreign armies are backing against al-Shabaab. With their help it has wrested back control of the capital, Mogadishu.
An MP for Beled-Hawo, a lawless Somali town in the border triangle where the Horn of Africa country meets Ethiopia and Kenya, he talks gamely of defeating al-Shabaab. In reality his forces are little more than guns for hire and he has no money.
"We're trying our best to pay our soldiers," he says, before admitting there's been no money for four months.
The TFG "soldiers" include children as young as 14, who hire themselves out to all comers. Those who have joined up but haven't been paid are selling their guns and uniforms at the local market. The yellow star of the Somali flag flies in the town centre but it is the Ethiopian army camped on the outskirts who are the real authority in Beled-Hawo.
The Ethiopians entered Somalia for a second time in late November – a move prompted, analysts believe, by the desire to assert their own interests in the country after Kenya's incursion. The Ethiopians have so far resisted marching further into Somalia; their last incursion five years ago led to a fierce Islamic resistance movement that established al-Shabaab as a national force.