French President Nicolas Sarkozy says the embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi must relinquish power and face punishment for bloody crackdowns on pro-democracy protesters.
“Gaddafi must go. The systematic violence against the Libyan people is unacceptable and will be the subject of investigations and sanctions,” AFP quoted Sarkozy as saying on Friday in Ankara, Turkey.
Meanwhile, the 68-year-old Libyan ruler has vowed to defeat all his enemies; despite the fact that his regime continues to lose grip and several cities are currently under the control of pro-democracy demonstrators.
On Friday, Gaddafi told crowds of supporters in Tripoli’s central Green Square to “prepare to defend Libya.”
“We will fight them and we will beat them,” he told his supporters. “Sing, dance and be ready.”
He also pledged to open all weapon depots in a bid to arm forces and mercenaries loyal to him.
Hundreds of foreign mercenaries as well as troops still loyal to Gaddafi’s regime targeted protesters on Friday as thousands of people took to the streets in different neighborhoods of the capital Tripoli.
Libyan security forces have reportedly killed some 1,000 people during recent pro-democracy demonstrations against the four-decade repressive rule of Gaddafi.
Gaddafi’s regime is facing mounting international condemnations over its brutal crackdown on demonstrators as the death toll from Libya’s revolution continues to climb.
The European Union has agreed on a package of sanctions against Libya in response to the violent crackdown on mass pro-democracy rallies.
The package will slap a visa ban on members of the Libyan regime and freeze their assets. It will also impose an arms embargo on the North African country. The decision is expected to come into force next week.