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 China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid