See also:
» 29.01.2013 - Libya peace very fragile, warns UN
» 31.03.2011 - Libya's Foreign Minister defects
» 24.03.2011 - How cyber-activism lent savvy to North African protests
» 18.03.2011 - Ten nations ready to attack Ghaddafi regime
» 18.03.2011 - Africa defies AU chief's support for Ghaddafi
» 18.03.2011 - France: We can start bombing Libya tonight
» 17.03.2011 - Libya rebels shoot down fighter jets
» 15.03.2011 - Ghaddafi thanks Germany, Russia and China

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Politics | Human rights

Still no UN action on Libya

Libyan leader Muammar al-Ghaddafi

© Libya Mission/afrol News
afrol News, 22 February
- A UN Security Council meeting over the violence in Libya has only concluded that there will be held another meeting later today. Council members however indicate a no-fly zone over Libya will not be realised.

Libyan diplomats in New York had called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the Ghaddafi regime's violent crackdown of protests. The meeting, it turns out, however only had discussed "procedural matters" on how to handle the Libyan crisis.

A new meeting was to be held this afternoon (New York time), it was announced. There, measures would be discussed, also a possible no-fly zone over Libya. But a participant of the meeting told media that the no-fly zone proposal did not seem viable and was probably not an option.

It was the Libyan UN Mission itself - yesterday breaking with Colonel Ghaddafi - that had asked for the emergency meeting of the UN Security Council about the situation in Libya, urging the world body to install a no-fly zone over the country to prevent Mr Ghaddafi from using war planes and helicopters to bomb his own population.

According to the Libyan diplomats, a no-fly zone could easily be implemented, as it had been in pre-Gulf War Iraq and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In both places, the UN measure had immediately stopped further terror bombing of the civilian population. The proposal during the last 24 hours has been supported by exiled Libyans and several Western politicians, including Lord David Owen, a former British Foreign Minister.

As large parts of the Libyan army and police have laid down their weapons or even fraternised with the protesters, many observers see the air force and marine as Mr Ghaddafi's last main weapons to use against the protesters. Grounding Libyan aircrafts therefore could lead to a stop to the fighting and a quick collapse of the regime, some hold.

The idea today spread like wildfire, and exiled Libyans all over the world, in particular in Europe, have organised massive protests, calling for the immediate imposing of no-fly zones. Many non-Libyans participated in the manifestations.

The UN, before today's Council meeting, indeed seemed to be on the move. Yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon - in an outspoken statement contrasting his hitherto weak leadership - said he was "outraged" at press reports that the Libyan authorities have been firing at demonstrators from war planes and helicopters.

"This is unacceptable," Mr Ban told reporters in Los Angeles. "This violence against demonstrators must immediately stop," he demanded, opening up for decisive UN action against the Ghaddafi regime.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay earlier today called for an immediate cessation of the "grave" rights violations committed by Libyan authorities, but only urged an "independent investigation" into the violent suppression of protests; no concrete actions to stop the massacre.

"Widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity," Ms Pillay however added, opening up for a future war crimes case against the Libyan leader.

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