Rebels on the Mountain

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They were embedded in caves. Fighting was heavy," one of the sources told Reuters. There was no immediate word on casualties and no independent confirmation of the clashes was available. The RFC and another rebel group, the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development UFDD , ended a Libyan-brokered ceasefire more than a week ago, abandoning a pact signed with Deby by several rebel groups fighting to end his year rule over the landlocked African country.

The government army fought several major battles with the UFDD last week, which both sides said had killed hundreds. A third armed group called the United Front for Democratic Change FUC , which is loyal to a defence minister sacked over the weekend, has also clashed with government troops around the eastern town of Guereda. Diplomats fear the renewed fighting may further hamper the deployment of the EU peacekeepers, which has already been delayed until the New Year.

Its commanders say EU member states have been slow in coming forward with commitments to provide essential aircraft, helicopters and medical units.

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ReliefWeb has been the leading online source for reliable and timely humanitarian information on global crises and disasters since Learn more about ReliefWeb. However, neither the infrastructure nor the "air drops" claimed to have been made by France recently seem to meet the local demand for all kinds of weapons' supplies. In an exclusive interview given to Deutsche Welle recently, rebel colonel Mokhtar Milad Fernana claimed that only one "test-landing" had taken place at Jadu's "airport.

The general picture of the mountain front is that of rebels controlling the heights and government troops keeping their positions in the desert plains. But this equation has recently started to change.

Libya Contact Group recognizes rebel council

The Libyan tricolour flag and the Berber symbols also dominate the village of Qala, whose houses are scattered down the valley toward the desert. It is true that Gadhafi's self-propelled GRAD rockets keep pounding this tiny community, however army soldiers no longer patrol the steep streets of the village. After the recent victory over the Gadhafi-controlled Walish village in Eastern Nafusa, rebel troops strengthened their presence on the outskirts of Bir al Ghanam.

This is a strategic point with its back to the mountains and a mere 70 kilometers from Tripoli. But many fear the Libyan desert may well turn into a "Rubicon" for a group of rebels too used to scanning the horizon from the heights of the mountains. Rashid, who does not want to give his full name for fear of reprisals against his family in Tripoli, is probably one of the few well-trained fighters here, thanks to his previous combat experience during the siege of Misrata.

They're not only putting their lives in danger but other people's lives too.

Besides if things get ugly we do not even have enough vehicles to evacuate everyone," he told Deutsche Welle. Surprisingly enough, the rebels in the Western Libyan mountains seem to be piling up one victory after another.

Rebels say Syrian army fails to retake Latakia mountain

Neither the lack of experienced fighters, nor the apparent disorganization seem to pose a handicap as they advance toward Tripoli. Still, the crux of the matter is that whatever is actually happening within the ranks of Gadhafi's troops remains one of this war's biggest mysteries. In a move that raises the stakes for Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi, an international contact group has agreed to recognize rebel forces as the "legitimate authority" in Libya.

Formed by defectors from the Libyan army, the Western mountains' first National Army battalion is the most experienced group among opposition rebels fighting at the frontline close to Tripoli.

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While rebels are fighting a mere 70 kilometers from Tripoli, Deutsche Welle spoke with Mokhtar Milad Fernana, the main rebel commander of Libya's western front at his headquarters in Zintan, in Nafusa mountains. Much is made of reported Iranian support for the Yemeni rebels in international relations — yet the movement has its own homegrown, anti-imperial roots.

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DW examines the group's history, activities and alliances. What is so special about this weaponry — and why is Turkey risking its US ties over it? But while they reject globalisation, they are its beneficiaries, receiving aid from support groups in Britain, the US and across Europe. We are developing a new form of governance. She rejects suggestions that the Zapatistas have become a political cult that has turned its back on the outside world.

We are now self-reliant. We have email and the internet. We are part of a global indigenous movement.

We teach ourselves. Our people work everywhere now, as teachers, farmers, communicators. We work with other Zapatistas and indigenous groups. The base of our society is people, not the capitalist system. You must understand that we were the poorest people. We were marginalised. We still do not trust authorities.

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Happy Hour on the Mountain - Chris Rattie & The New Rebels" Acoustic" - Mt. Nittany Winery

Even though we are autonomous now, there is still fear. We only wear our masks when we are with outsiders. There are still arbitrary arrests, killings, harassment and violence. We are still poor. The big difference between now and then is the way women are treated.


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Women played a key role in the rebellion and are now the leaders. We are now equal. It has been a transformation in society. There are signs that the Zapatistas are ready to play a bigger part in wider Mexican politics.