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

    US Watching as North Korea Holds Biggest Political Meeting in 36 Years

    Workers' Party Congress set for Friday; Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    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.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora