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France recognises Libyan rebels as 'legitimate authority'..Should the rebels be armed..???

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba

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France has become the first country to recognise the Libyan rebel leadership, the National Libyan Council (NLC), as the country's legitimate government. It comes as Nato is set to discuss military options in the Libyan conflict, including a possible no-fly zone. There is growing concern about the bombing of rebel-held areas by the forces of Col Muammar Gaddafi. A BBC team, which were detained and beaten up in Libya, witnessed widespread mistreatment by the security forces. In recent days pro-Gaddafi forces have tried to regain ground in the east, and have bombarded rebel forces in the town of Zawiya, 50km west of Tripoli. The president of the International Red Cross said on Thursday there was a marked increase in civilian casualties in what he called a "civil war". The move to recognition announced by the French presidency came a day after Euro-MPs urged the EU to recognise the rebels. The office of President Nicolas Sarkozy said France regarded the NLC as Libya's "legitimate representative". Col Gaddafi's forces continued shelling the eastern rebel-held oil town of Ras Lanuf on Thursday, rebels and eyewitnesses said.

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