The slate of ministers was made final Sunday, 2 transitional council spokesmen say
Many recognize the council as Libya's government, but it had not had a Cabinet
The Red Cross delivers much-needed supplies in the besieged city of Sirte
A slate of Cabinet ministers for Libya’s emerging government was finalized Sunday, two spokesmen for the National Transitional Council said.
The names of those in the new Cabinet are expected to be released soon, said the spokesmen, who declined to be named.
The transitional council has organized the military and political movement to unseat Libya’s long-time ruler Moammar Gadhafi. It moved its capital from Benghazi to Tripoli last month, after anti-Gadhafi forces took over the city, and is recognized as Libya’s legitimate government by many nations and world bodies, including the United Nations and African Union.
In that time – and as fighting continues against regime loyalists in a few locales – council representatives have spoken for the government internationally and also tried to execute certain functions within Libya. But up until now, the group has not had ministers formally charged with overseeing certain aspects of government.
One of those places that remains a battle zone, in addition to Bani Walid and Sabha, is Sirte.
Last week, the transitional council said that the central coastal city and about 5,000 pro-Gadhafi loyalists inside were surrounded by its forces. On Saturday, the group’s chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil gave civilians 48 hours to leave before a full-scale offensive is launched.
Souad Masoudi, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of Red Cross, earlier this weekend claimed that about 10,000 people had fled Sirte. The group described humanitarian conditions inside the besieged city as dire, adding that medical supplies appeared to be in dangerously short supply.
On Sunday – after having earlier efforts, by boat, aborted due to “the security situation” – a Red Cross team entered Sirte by land from the west, the group said in a press release. They met with civil representatives who claimed dangerous shortages of drinking water, hygiene items and food, including for infants.
The team also went to Ibn Sina hospital, with the operation’s leader Hichem Khadraoui describing the conditions for medical personnel as “extremely difficult.”
There, they delivered enough surgical material – including body bags and dressing kits – to treat about 200 wounded people, as well as 400 liters (about 106 gallons) of fuel for the facility’s generator.
“The hospital is facing a huge influx of patients, medical supplies are running out, and there is a desperate need for oxygen,” Khadraoui said. “On top of that, the water reservoir is damaged.”