News / Africa

NATO to Send Ships Closer to Libya to Monitor Arms Embargo

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at headquarters in Brussels, March 10, 2011
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at headquarters in Brussels, March 10, 2011
Al Pessin

The NATO alliance has agreed to send ships closer to the Libyan coast to monitor compliance with the U.N. arms embargo against the government of Moammar Gadhafi. But key alliance leaders, including U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, say they do not have the authorization or regional support that would be needed for direct military action.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced the decision to move the ships closer to Libya to improve what he called "situational awareness," and to help with humanitarian relief efforts. He says the alliance will also develop urgent and detailed plans for relief missions and for what he called "more active measures." He said that includes planning on how to create and enforce a No-Fly Zone over Libya.

But Rasmussen said there is no U.N. authorization for the use of force, and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates agreed.

"The key factor here is first of all the limitations of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1970, which even when it comes to the embargo does not provide the authority for enforcement,” Gates said. “So if there were to be a need for enforcement there would need to be a new U.N. Security Council resolution, even for that purpose."

Both Gates and Rasmussen said NATO will take further military action only if there is a clear need, a new U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force and support from North African and Middle Eastern countries. Gates said the alliance is "very mindful" of concerns in the region about the possibility of Western military activity in Libya.

"I think that a number of ministers made clear that we wanted to put ourselves in a position to assist the Arab League, the African Union or the U.N. in this endeavor, and very sensitive to NATO being responsive to those organizations, rather than taking an initiative on its own," he added.

Gates has said a No-Fly Zone would be a significant and potentially difficult military operation, and he has expressed concern about the regional reaction to any presence in Libya of Western ground troops.

Rasmussen stressed that no decision for additional military action was made during Thursday's meeting, but he said he can not imagine the international community standing "idly by" if Colonel Gadhafi continues attacking his own people. The NATO secretary-general also said if the current divide in Libya continues, it could become a "failed state" and "a breeding ground for extremism and terrorism."

He called the situation a matter of great concern and urged the Libyan government to stop the violence and "allow a peaceful transition to democracy."

Rasmussen said NATO is united, vigilant and ready to act, but for now is taking only limited action, while planning for possible stronger action in the future.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More