By Shane McGinley
Transport of tents and blankets to Tunisian border started on Tuesday from supplies in Dubai.
Tent and blanket supplies from British stocks in Dubai have been flown
out to bordering areas near Libya, the UK Prime Minister has confirmed.
The airlift, due to start on Tuesday is aimed to help with the
humanitarian effort resulting from the ongoing civil unrest in the North
“Everyone hopes this situation will be resolved quickly but there is a
real danger now of a humanitarian crisis inside Libya. We are acutely conscious
of the risks of shortages and are monitoring the situation closely,” David
Cameron told the UK’s House of Commons earlier this week.
“In response to a request from the UN, Britain will fly in tents and
blankets from our stocks in Dubai for use at the Tunisian border. We have
dispatched technical teams to be in place at both the Tunisian and Egyptian
borders. Currently the most pressing need is assisting the large numbers of
migrant workers into Egypt and Tunisia to get home,” he added.
As the civil unrest against Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi continues, he
added that the Britain’s International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell
would visit the region “to assess the situation on the ground for himself.”
Italy has also said it was sending a humanitarian mission to neighbouring
Tunisia to provide food and medical aid to as many as 10,000 people who had
fled violence in Libya on its eastern border.
Tunisian border guards fired into the air on Tuesday to try to control a
crowd of people clamouring to cross the frontier.
About 70,000 people have passed through the Ras Jdir border post in the
past two weeks, and many more of the hundreds of thousands of foreign workers
in Libya are expected to follow.
In addition the humanitarian operation, US warships will pass through the
Suez Canal on Wednesday on their way to Libya as Western nations put more
pressure on Muammar Gaddafi to stop a violent crackdown and step aside.
The US said Libya could sink into civil war unless Gaddafi quits amid
fears that the uprising, the bloodiest against long-serving rulers in the
Middle East, could cause a humanitarian crisis.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told US lawmakers: "Libya could
become a peaceful democracy or it could face protracted civil war." The
United States said it was moving ships and planes closer to the oil-producing
North African state.
The destroyer USS Barry moved through the Suez Canal on Monday and into
the Mediterranean. Two amphibious assault ships, the USS Kearsarge, which can
carry 2,000 Marines, and the USS Ponce, were in the Red Sea and are expected to
go through the canal early on Wednesday.
Gaddafi remained defiant and his son, Saif al-Islam, warned the West
against launching military action. He said the veteran ruler would not step
down or go into exile.
"We are looking at a lot of options and contingencies. No decisions
have been made on any other actions," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.
However, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe sounded a note of caution,
saying military intervention would not happen without a clear United Nations
When are all the Arab Muslim countries going to assume some leadership coming to the rescue of all their brothers and sisters who desperately need assistance during the chaos in the middle east countries. Why rely on the US, Europe etc?