News / Middle East

Newly Resigned Libyan Ambassador Urges UN Action

A Libyan man carries away partial remains of a man's body at Al-Jalaa hospital in Benghazi, February 21, 2011
A Libyan man carries away partial remains of a man's body at Al-Jalaa hospital in Benghazi, February 21, 2011
Kurt Achin

The Libyan ambassador who resigned his post in protest of his government's handling of protesters is calling on the United Nations to take action against his country.


Ali El-Assawi, who up until this week was Libya's ambassador to India, expressed outrage at his country's use of fighter aircraft to bomb civilians in his home capital, Tripoli.

"This will increase the victims,” El-Assawi said. “This is unacceptable and we cannot imagine that."

El-Assawi quit his post Monday to protest the crackdown and says he has been receiving updates from sources inside the country.

He told an interviewer Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has been recruiting mercenaries from other African nations to quell the popular uprising. The organization, Human Rights Watch says more than 200 people have been killed in clashes.

El-assawi says the United Nations Security Council should take immediate action.

"United Nations Security Council should issue decree to block the airspace of Libya to protect the people, of using aircraft against the Libyans," El-Assawi added.

El-assawi's resignation is part of a broader pattern of desertion of the Gadhafi government by its senior diplomats in Asia. Libyan diplomats in China, Malaysia, and Australia have also severed ties with the Libyan leader.

"We want the bloodshed to be stopped," he said.

India is among a growing number of nations urging its citizens to avoid non-urgent travel to Libya and has set up a hotline for information about 18,000 Indians working there.

 

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