For the first time, President Obama called on Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddaffi to step down on Saturday, according to news reports.
During a private phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama said Qaddafi’s departure was necessary because the violence that Qaddafi resorted to in Libya invalidated any legitimacy he might lay claim to, according to the Associated Press.
The first signs of tough talk from the United States toward Libya began in earnest on Friday, when the White House ordered the freeze of Qaddafi’s and his family members’ assets. It is not clear yet what effect the sanction could be having on Qaddafi. What is clear is that his four-decade-old regime appears to be teetering on the brink of violent dissolution.
Other media reports, including amateur videos posted on the Internet, have shown violent crackdowns against the Libyan people. It is believe Qaddafi has hired mercenaries to carry out the raids against the citizens of Tripoli, in the west of the country. The eastern part of the country, including the country’s second largest city, Benghazi, has been free of Qaddafi’s control for days.