Tripoli, Feb 22. – Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi attributed opposition demonstrations in several Libyan cities to a devilish Western plot, and urged the population to defend his governmentâ�Ös economic and social achievements.
In a long television broadcast address to the nation, he warned that opposition protests unleashed a week ago in Tripoli and in interior cities like Benghazi are "serving the devil" and accused of "traitors and cowards" those trying to lead the country to chaos and "humiliate" its citizens.
Gaddafi ordered that "from Tuesday night, young people are to wear a green armband as a sign of loyalty and defense of the Revolution" and vowed that he "would fight until the last drop of blood followed by the people."
Gaddafi said for the second time today that he is still leading the revolution and that he "would die in Libya as a martyr," ruling out to be heading for another country prompted by the largest street uprising faced in his nearly 42 years in power.
He gave instructions to create peopleâ�Ös militias to secure order to act in coordination with peopleâ�Ös committees, bodies loyal to his government and scattered nationwide along with security forces.
He said that these structures will defend the countryâ�Ös oil, the housing promotion projects and other achievements of the revolution, and "from tonight they will have to arrest these mice" (referring to the opponents).
He said that most of the population back him and described those who demand his resignation as "youngsters who get drunk and take drugs" compared to a "patriotic" youth who is destined to save the country.
"Libya is in danger, our sovereignty is in danger," he said as he read several articles of the countryâ�Ös Penal Code calling for death penalty to those who commit treason, put the country at the service of a foreign power or attack the government.
Addressing the elders and the parents, he asked them to take their children away from the streets, in case they are protesting against the authorities and commiting vandalistic, violent acts.
The president refused to resign and argued that he has no palace, money or post to resign from. "I continue being the leader of the revolution," he said, asking their followers that "if they love Muammar al-Gaddafi, go secure the streets."
"You have to be brave, you are millions and they are 100 individuals; you have to go back to the streets and re-establish order," he said.
Gaddafi also criticized strongly media outlets that in his opinion have distorted the truth of what is happening here, mainly referring to "an Arab television network that has betrayed us."
However, he admitted the seriousness of the situation and reports indicating that opponents took over Benghazi, the second largest city and other towns, besides paralyzing ports and airports in different regions.
At least 300 people have been killed in clashes between followers and opponents of Gaddafi, according to unofficial media reports, with Gaddafiâ�Ös son Saif Al-Islam recognizing on Monday that 100 people have lost their lives in clashes.(Prensa Latina)