France to urge NATO to help besieged Libyan city: Juppe

6th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Wednesday that the situation in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata was not tenable and that he was about to take NATO to task over it.

"Misrata is in a situation which cannot continue and I am going to discuss it in a few hours time with the Secretary General of NATO," Juppe told France Info radio.

Libyan rebels have hit out at the NATO-led air mission, saying that it was failing in its UN mandate to protect civilians in Misrata.

The top commander of rebel forces, Abdelfatah Yunis, accused NATO-led aircraft of doing nothing while forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi kept up their 40-day long artillery bombardment of civilians in the city.

NATO "is letting the people of Misrata die every day," Yunis said. "If NATO waits one more week, there will be nothing left in Misrata."

Doctors said last week that 200 people had been killed in Misrata since the uprising began on February 17, a figure that is likely to have risen in recent days.

© 2011 AFP

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