Two months ago, the people of Libya protested in the streets to demand that Moammar Gadhafi step down as leader because of his dishonest government and his poor treatment of the people. Instead of leaving, Gadhafi gathered Libyan-government troops and attacked protesters all over the country. Several United Nations countries brought troops and weapons of their own to help the protesters (the “rebels”) and now the fight has become very dangerous for everyone. It is likely to last a long time.
One city in particular has been hit hard by the war. In Libya’s third-largest city, Misrata, the people have been under siege by Gadhafi’s forces for more than seven weeks. The Libyan government has been bombing the city and hundreds of innocent people—who aren’t government soldiers or rebel fighters—have been killed or wounded.
They are running out of food, medical supplies and gasoline. One person in Misrata said that because of the bombing and the fact that aid workers cannot easily get in or out of the city, the residents are “like rats in a cage.”
On Monday Gadhafi made a deal with the United Nations to let food and medicine into the Libyan city of Misrata.
The deal Gadhafi made is to allow supplies to enter Misrata without any attacks from his government forces. It seems this deal was made after Gadhafi bombed Misrata just the day before. Many people believe Gadhafi’s motive or reason for allowing the deal is to trick the rebels. They think that once the route to Misrata is open for supplies and the rebels are quiet, Gadhafi’s forces will go in with heavy weapons and attack the people there.
There has been some good news for over 900 people who have been trapped for weeks in Misrata. They have been rescued by boat and taken to the port city of Benghazi. Many are wounded and are getting help from a humanitarian group called International Medical Corps.
Website for International Medical Corps.
CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS – By Kathleen Tilly
Many people in Libya have been protesting against Gadhafi and demanding that he steps down as leader, yet he refuses to do so. In fact, he has violently attacked the protesters. Why do you think he would want to stay in power even though so many of his people oppose his rule?
The situation in Libya is quite complicated. Read the article carefully and try to summarize the situation in Misrata to a friend, parent or classmate. Make sure to include important information from the article.
Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important ideas and citing supporting details (OME, Reading: 1.4).
Grammar Feature: Verbs
Verbs are action words, such as run, jump, skip and laugh. Find and circle all of the verbs that you find in the article.