News / Africa

    No Decision Yet from UN Security Council on Libya No-Fly Zone

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Security Council (File Photo)
    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the Security Council (File Photo)
    Margaret Besheer

    Negotiations among members of the U.N. Security Council ended Wednesday without consensus on a draft resolution authorizing a No-Fly Zone over Libya, where forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi are bearing down on rebel strongholds in the eastern part of the country. Russia pushed for a separate cease-fire resolution, while the United States said the council might need to consider measures that go beyond a No-Fly Zone.

    After the day-long consultations, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters that Washington wants a broad range of actions that will effectively protect civilians and increase the pressure on the Gadhafi regime to stop the killing and allow the Libyan people to express themselves freely and peacefully, but she did not detail what those measures might be.

    "We are discussing very seriously and leading efforts in the Council around a range of actions that we believe could be effective in protecting civilians -- those include discussion of a No-Fly Zone.  But the U.S. view is that we need to be prepared to contemplate steps that include, but perhaps go beyond, a No-Fly Zone.  At this point, as the situation on the ground has evolved, and as a No-Fly Zone has inherent limitations in terms of protection of civilians at immediate risk," she said.

    The request for the No-Fly Zone came from the Arab League, and Ambassador Rice said Arab leadership and participation in a possible No-Fly Zone would be very important.

    Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin expressed his regret that council members did not embrace a Russian proposal to adopt a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire.  Earlier Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made his own appeal for a cease-fire. Ambassador Churkin said Mr. Ban’s call coupled with one from the Council might have served to halt the bloodshed.

    "Our idea was to do this brief cease-fire resolution and then continue working as fast as we can. We were not rejecting at all -- we were not rejecting at all -- this larger resolution. We participated in the discussion and prepared to consider it. But our idea was that a strong signal from the Security Council might be useful today," Churkin said.

    But some Western diplomats said they rejected the Russian proposal because it "had no teeth" and would not have been stronger than resolution 1970, which the council adopted two weeks ago. That resolution imposed financial and travel sanctions on the Gadhafi government, as well as an arms embargo and a referral to the International Criminal Court.

    As the negotiations continued in New York, the situation appeared to grow more dire for the opposition in Libya, after Moammar Gadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam, said in a television interview that government forces are closing in on them and would soon take the rebel city of Benghazi.  He urged the rebels to leave the country.

    Libya’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador, who is allied with the opposition National Transitional Council, told reporters that mercenaries working for Colonel Gadhafi are moving in a column of more than 400 vehicles toward the city of Ajdabiya with instructions to kill everyone and destroy every building.  Ibrahim Dabbashi warned that Colonel Gadafi had also gathered forces in the country’s western mountains and planned to move on Berber villages there, which he said would be tantamount to ethnic cleansing.

    Despite the military escalation Dabbashi said the rebels could hold off the Gadhafi forces and protect their eastern stronghold of Benghazi, but he nevertheless urged the council to adopt a resolution quickly.

    Council diplomats said they believe the No-Fly Zone resolution will come to a vote on Thursday.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora