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Libya

Bildt: ground troops in Libya only for aid purposes

Published lördag 16 april 2011 kl 10.40
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt in the middle with NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmusson (r) and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (L). Photo: John MacDougal/Scanpix

The European Union has agreed to start planning for ground operations in Libya, focusing on humanitarian aid, food and medicines to the city of Misrata where the situation is described as a humanitarian disaster.

According to Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt the planning has been going on for some time since the EU wants to be prepared if the United Nations decide to support operations on the ground. But “we are not there yet” Bildt tells Swedish Radio News. ´

A military headquarters has opened in Rome, Italy, where military personnel from all EU members are participating, including Sweden.

Ground troops might be needed to secure harbours and airports so that humanitarian aid can be brought into the country, and also to evacuate those who are wounded. But this doesn’t mean that the EU in any way will use force to get rid of Gaddafi, according to Bildt.

“We are not going to shoot our way in, but rather we want to support the UN’s humanitarian organisation if they need help with transports and surveillance at a later stage.”

Gaddafi forces accused of using cluster bombs

Human Rights Watch and rebel forces accused loyalists of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi of using cluster bomb in Misrata while Doctors Without Borders are warning of a developing humanitarian crisis.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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