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UN to Lead Initial Post-Gadhafi Phase in Libya


U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that there is broad international consensus that the United Nations should lead the post-Gadhafi phase in Libya. Mr. Ban told the U.N. Security Council that the National Transitional Council, or NTC, appears to be largely in control of the capital, Tripoli, and that he believes a “quick conclusion” to the conflict is in sight.

Mr. Ban told the 15-member council that he has spoken several times during the past week with the Chairman of the NTC, Mustafa Abdel Jalil. He said they discussed the U.N.’s role in Libya during the coming months in areas such as election assistance, justice, security enforcement and humanitarian assistance.

The secretary-general said the Libyan people are looking to the international community for help and that the National Transitional Council will outline its specific needs in the coming days.

Mr. Ban noted that the heads of regional organizations, including the European Union, the African Union and the Arab League, also support the United Nations leading post-conflict efforts.

“My aim is to get U.N. personnel on the ground absolutely as quickly as possible, under a robust Security Council mandate,” he said.

Mr. Ban's special advisor on post-conflict planning, Ian Martin, told reporters after the council’s meeting that U.N. assistance would not be in the form of peacekeepers deployed to the country, but that the NTC might consider U.N. assistance in training Libya's future police force.

“In our discussions with the NTC, it is very clear that the Libyans want to avoid any military deployment by the U.N. or others. They are very seriously interested in assistance with policing to get the public security situation under control and gradually develop a democratically accountable public security forc,” Marten said.

Also Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council’s sanctions committee on Libya approved the release of a little more than a billion dollars in frozen Libyan assets from British banks.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague said the money would go to help address urgent humanitarian needs, pay the salaries of key public sector employees and free up cash in the Libyan economy. Those funds are in addition to the $1.5 billion held in U.S. banks that the committee unfroze last Thursday.

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