News / Africa

Libya Support Group to Convene in Paris

Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council, NTC. (file photo)
Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council, NTC. (file photo)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and officials from about 50 other countries are set to convene in Paris on Thursday to discuss Libya’s transition to post-Gadhafi democratic rule.  The head of Libya’s National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, is expected to outline the NTC’s immediate needs.

France called the meeting a week ago as NTC forces moved into Tripoli.  Now, with Moammar Gadhafi's rule at an end, the conference will focus on how to help Libya establish stable democratic governance.

The list of participants for the “Friends of Libya” conference has grown significantly in recent days to include key countries like Russia and China, which have not recognized the NTC as Libya’s new governing authority.

Secretary of State Clinton, who has interrupted her summer vacation to attend, says the weeks ahead will be “critical” for Libya and that the world community needs to act “decisively” to help the NTC.  But she says the transition must be Libyan-led.

State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says NTC chief Jalil’s presentation at the meeting will be pivotal.

“One of the things that we expect to hear at this meeting is a report from the Transitional National Council on how it sees moving forward, what it wants for the international community -- including how it wants to work with the [U.N.] Security Council on the appropriate unwinding of [U.N. resolutions] 1970 and 1973," Nuland said.

Those United Nations  resolutions imposed sanctions against Moammar Gadhafi's government and authorized the NATO-led air campaign that helped oust the longtime ruler.

The United States and other countries have begun the process of releasing frozen Libyan assets through the U.N. Sanctions Committee.

But some leading members of the U.S. Congress want Secretary Clinton to withhold the money unless the NTC agrees to give up Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted in the 1988 bombing of a U.S. PanAm jetliner over Scotland.

The NTC has told the United States it will revisit the case against Megrahi, who was returned to Libya from Scotland in 2009 on humanitarian grounds and is reported in grave condition in Tripoli with cancer.

Nuland says the NTC has more urgent priorities than the Megrahi case. “We need to give the TNC a chance to do job one, which is to finish the job of ousting Gadhafi and his regime, begin the job of establishing Libya on a democratic path.  And we are very gratified by the fact that they have made clear they are willing to look into this,” she said.

A key issue in Paris will be the question of a peacekeeping presence in Libya.

Ian Martin, special advisor to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on post-conflict planning, says the National Transitional Council's interest is in foreign advice, not troops. “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 force,” Martin said.

Human rights groups say the Paris conferees must press the NTC to avoid reprisals against Gadhafi loyalists, while seeking accountability for serious human rights violations during the Gadhafi era.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa Director at Human Rights Watch, says major responsibilities come with political recognition of the NTC.  “Number one among them is going to be avoiding retribution and reprisal killings against Gadhafi forces or against alleged or feared Gadhafi supporters.  Because certainly, as you can imagine, there is a lot of anger and rage that’s built up over the past several months and over the past 40 years," Whitson said.

Whitson says the former Libyan leader and his key associates, who face international war crimes charges and are still at large, must be treated with due process in accordance with international law.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid