Innocent Libyan School Children are Being Shot

  jakimo 15:39 23 Feb 2011

According to people phoning into the BBC on returned to the UK'
Claims that the Home office have been dragging their feet getting Brits out of Libya,while other countries have flown military aircraft in and got their nations out!

  Clapton is God 16:15 23 Feb 2011

"the Home office have been dragging their feet"

Situation normal, then.

  spuds 16:23 23 Feb 2011

When fighter aircraft are spraying bullets and bombs about indiscriminately, and security troops are conducting similar acts (according to media reports), then there are bound to be many innocent victims.

Fortunately if media reports are correct, two pilots aborted their mission and flew to neighboring countries, and have since sought political asylum. It would also appear that some security force personel, are now beginning to change sides.

  Forum Editor 16:43 23 Feb 2011

have been dragging their feet"

Well they would be - it's nothing to do with them.

The Foreign Office is responsible for such matters, and chartered aircraft are being used to evacuate the 500 British people who are resident in Libya as necessary.

HMS Cumberland is currently standing off the Libyan coast, ready to provide assistance if required.

As usual in these situations, there's a huge amount of misinformation floating about - particularly on Twitter - and responsible journalists have to check and double-check everything before publication. The BBC is particularly aware of the need for this. The situation for them is difficult, as their only representative inside Libya is a Libyan national with British citizenship. She is in a dangerous situation, and a couple of days ago the BBC quite rightly took the decision to tell her to stop reporting for the time being.

  spuds 17:13 23 Feb 2011

Remember that the UK government (or any government) might not know you are there, unless you have registered yourself locally.

I recall many incidents in my travelling days, and one in particular, while in Hong Kong and China in the 1970's. I was told quite firmly by the British representative in the area, that he was not there to help me, after requesting some information. Boy did that cause an almighty reaction, and a change of events.

Also certain countries will charge for repatriation after the event, and some countries will not.

  jakimo 17:19 23 Feb 2011

'BBC quite rightly took the decision to tell her to stop reporting for the time being.'

British Nationals are still phoning the BBC UK from Libya, keeping the BBC informed of the the Libyan situation in real time,and has nothing to do with the BBCs own reporter.
Brit oil workers,who are also in a dangerous situation and under attack from looters, held up in the desert camps and unable to get out,can speak to the BBC but cant speak get a reply from the British Embassy just a few hundred miles away.

The chartered plane you speak of has yet to leave the ground.,it now 17.08 and the plane has not yet left the ground 'due to mechanical failure'
Do you still insist that the Government is not dragging their feet,when foreign countries flew in and flew out with their nationals,when this country had not even chartered any aircraft,you may not find that fact in Google,but according to Mr Haigh its a documented fact

  Forum Editor 17:51 23 Feb 2011

British nationals are certainly phoning the BBC, but as I pointed out earlier, there have been many instances of information being given, and subsequently proving to be false. The BBC has a duty to verify information before publishing it without caveat. It's standard (and correct) procedure, and has been for a long time.

As far as aircraft are concerned you're correct, the first chartered one developed a technical fault.That's hardly the Foreign Office's fault.

I have spoken to someone at the BBC, and he tells me that communications inside Libya are 'a nightmare'. According to him it's easier to phone the BBC in London from Libya than it is to call someone a few miles away inside the country. Gaddafi has deliberately set about making telecoms difficult.

Other countries may have found it easier to fly aircraft into Libyan airports (and out again) because they received permission to land. An aircraft cannot depart its home airport until it has a booked landing slot at its point of arrival - you can't just take off and ask the other airport when you get near. Libyan air traffic control may be less inclined to allocate slots to American and British charters at the moment if Gaddafi still has influence in that sphere. Both of us are number one on his hate list.

As far as I know, America has not yet evacuated citizens from Tripoli, although - like us - it hopes to start doing so today.

There will be chaos in the Libyan airports, and it's not going to be easy for any country to get enough charter aircraft in and out, let alone those with many thousands of citizens resident - China has over 30,000 people there, for instance.

  Forum Editor 18:01 23 Feb 2011

that most of the 3000 or so British citizens who were in Libya when all this started have already arrived home.

  spuds 18:13 23 Feb 2011

I should imagine that China as made it quite clear that if harm comes to any of their subjects (in great numbers), then Libya will pay dearly, both economically and otherwise. But thats only my imagination.

You can also bet your bottom dollar, that quite a number of people are crossing borders for sanctuary. There's even rumours that the head of state as fled the capital, and might be en-route to a South American country?.

Another months time, we will most likely know most of the truth?.

  morddwyd 20:12 23 Feb 2011

"Innocent Libyan School Children are Being Shot"

Not just Libyan children. Innocent children are being shot all over the world on a daily basis, and have been since the invention of the gun, and killed in other ways long before that.

It's the way of the world.

Soft targets don't shoot back.

  Forum Editor 23:14 23 Feb 2011

to charter aircraft to the British government if they were going to be used to fly to Libya, and for a while the Foreign Office had difficulty in getting anyone interested.

Some countries - I think France was one - used military aircraft, but the risk of us doing that was, and still is considerable. I would imagine that option is going to be reserved for those people who are marooned in the desert.

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