News / Middle East

    UN Condemns Killing of US Diplomats

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon listens to a speech in the Swiss National Council during his visit in the Autumn Parliament Session in Bern, September 11, 2012.UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon listens to a speech in the Swiss National Council during his visit in the Autumn Parliament Session in Bern, September 11, 2012.
    x
    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon listens to a speech in the Swiss National Council during his visit in the Autumn Parliament Session in Bern, September 11, 2012.
    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon listens to a speech in the Swiss National Council during his visit in the Autumn Parliament Session in Bern, September 11, 2012.
    Margaret Besheer
    The United Nations Security Council and the secretary-general have added their voices to those strongly condemning the killing of four U.S. diplomatic staff members in Libya, including the ambassador.

    U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his staff members were killed in an attack late Tuesday on the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.  The attack occurred during a protest against an amateur short film made in the United States that insulted the Prophet Muhammad.

    In a statement condemning the violence, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the world body rejects defamation of religion in all forms, but added that there is no justification for the attack on the U.S. consulate.

    Speaking at a previously scheduled Security Council briefing on Libya, U.N. political chief Jeffrey Feltman reminded the Libyan authorities of their obligation to protect diplomatic facilities and personnel and said this and other incidents underscore one of Libya's main challenges, security.

    "This attack, together with a spate of assassinations of security personnel in Benghazi, a series of explosive devices in Tripoli, and attacks on Sufi shrines, further emphasize the security challenges facing the authorities in Libya," said Feltman.

    Feltman, a former senior U.S. State Department official who knew Ambassador Stevens well, cited some progress in Libya's transition to democracy.  He said the August 8 transfer of authority from the National Transitional Council to the 200-member General National Congress was a "historic moment."

    "For the first time in over four decades, Libya now has a democratically-elected body," Feltman added.

    Feltman said the U.N. Mission in Libya would focus its advisory and coordination efforts on areas including national security structure, police reform, preventing arms proliferation, and border security, and he added the United Nations is ready to assist the Libyans on issues involving their constitution.

    The U.N. announced the mission will undergo a change of leadership next month, when envoy Ian Martin steps down and is replaced by Tarek Mitri, a former Lebanese minister and academic.

    Libya's deputy ambassador, Ibrahim Dabbashi, said the attack on the U.S. consulate was carried out by an "extremist group" acting outside the law and gravely damaged the image of Islam.

    Dabbashi reiterated his government's strong condemnation of the attack, said an investigation is underway and that those responsible would be brought to justice.  Dabbashi noted several members of the Libyan security forces also were killed during the incident.

    Ambassador Dabbashi told reporters afterwards that Libya still faces enormous challenges, especially on the security front.

    "We have to say the reality - that the authority of the government is still not covering the whole territory of Libya and there are some groups and persons who are outlaws and the government could not until this moment contain all of them," Dabbashi explained.

    The envoy paid tribute to Ambassador Stevens as a great friend of the Libyan people, and praised his bravery for remaining in the country during the revolution.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Plain Mirror from: Ivory coast
    September 13, 2012 2:49 PM
    Oh! US for how long would you continue like this?... foverver? US advices world nations but has been unable to advice itself. Oh yes, why not? How can it advice itself constructively whereas what it projects to other nations are nothing but destructive? Whatever measure you use on anybody, the same shall be used on you. Read christain bible in book of Mathew chapter 7vs 1-4. So much paparazzi is killing the US. Sit back, re-think and re-adjust, US could not do that. The truth is that US has attracted so much haterade to itself. Killing the true Islamic leaders has started costing the US a lot. You killed Ghaddafi without pity, now you expected the radicals to pity for you, LOl. UN should advice the US, but it is quite unfortunate the UN wouldn't do that because both tow the same line of wickedness. In conclusion, the law of cama must take its course. What the US sow, that it shall reap. The wicked must be purnished and there would never be peace for the wicked!! May the souls of the departed victims rest in peace, amen!

    by: Mike from: California
    September 13, 2012 10:54 AM
    Thanks! Now what is the UN going to do about it?

    by: LeRoy Padmore from: Jersey City,NJ
    September 13, 2012 3:52 AM
    We are deeply sorry for the lost of our Ambassador and Staff that was killed in Libya tuesday morning,may their soul rest in peace.our prayer goes to their family.The Muslim people are violent set of people,ignorant to moderm society.what that film has to do with mohammed?he dead and go anyway.but these are the same people our Government help to take Gaddafi out of power,we told your these people are enemy to Israel and America,we need to face that truth.it is shame for Mr.Obama to sit there and do nothing about this situation.when Gaddafi was there,this mess was not going on.likewise Mubarak,we took the wrong man out of power'Mubarak kept America interest. like wise when President Bush told Gaddafi to destroy his nuclear facility,he did.the real problem was and is Iran.Mr.Obama plan is to bring America down to its knee.you mark my word,if you dont believed me just read his book.Mr.Obama needs to go.we need to vote him out of office.we need someone that love our nation and stand for that which our fore father build.your children and my children need to live freely with out fear.God Bless America,God Bless the American people.

    by: Abugrago Yahaya Sumaila from: U.DS-WA CAMPUS
    September 12, 2012 5:21 PM
    oh Mr.ambassador and your staff may your soul rest in perfect peace,but an urgent parameter should be put in place to avert the level of lawlessness that have engulf Libya after the fall of Gathaffi regime or else the oil rich country will end up losing investors.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.