The uprising in Libya appears to be growing by the day, and represents the biggest challenge to leader Muammar Gaddafi since he took power in 1969.
The unrest has spread to the capital Tripoli for the first time since protests began and the second largest city of Benghazi is reportedly out of government control.
A major tribe in Libya was reported to have turned against Gaddafi, and a number of Libyan diplomats resigned their posts in protest for using force against demonstrators.
In the regime’s first comment on the demonstrations, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Muammar Gaddafi’s son, appeared on state television on Sunday night offering significant political reforms.
He says that his father will remain in power and is fully backed by the army. Seif al-Islam also vowed that the regime would “fight to the last bullet” against “seditious elements”. He put only two choices in front of the people: Either to accept reforms or be ready for civil war.
As thousands of protesters call for Gaddafi to step down, what is behind these latest statements? Will the uprising turn into civil war?
Inside Story, with presenter Hazem Sika, discusses with guests Dana Moss, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Abubaker Deghayes, a Libyan human rights activist; and Hans Koechler, the official UN observer for the Lockerbie trial and the president of the International Progress Organisation.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Monday, February 21, 2011.