News / Africa

Governments Debate Response to Libyan Unrest

A rebel fighter reacts during an air strike in Ras Lanuf, March 7, 2011
A rebel fighter reacts during an air strike in Ras Lanuf, March 7, 2011

Foreign nations and military alliances continue debating possible responses to the crisis in Libya.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the situation in Libya and the region will be at the top of the agenda when alliance defense ministers meet in Brussels on Thursday. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will attend the meeting. A senior U.S. official says Gates will tell the ministers about U.S. preparations for possible emergency response operations and humanitarian relief in Libya.

Britain and France are drafting a United Nations resolution authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi warned against the imposition of a no-fly zone. In an interview that aired Wednesday on Turkey's state-run television, he said Libyans would take up arms against Western nations if they imposed such a zone.

Italy says it wants to have a key role in any decisions made by the U.N., European Union or NATO regarding its former colony, Libya. The comment was made on Wednesday in a statement released by President Giorgio Napolitano's office.

In Geneva, the U.N. special investigator on torture said he had received allegations of abuses in Libya that include torture, arbitrary detentions and extra-judicial killings. Juan Mendez said Wednesday that so far, the torture allegations are only linked to Gadhafi's government.

On Tuesday, the EU moved to impose additional sanctions on Libya. Officials say the measures will target financial institutions linked to the Gadhafi government.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.


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