News / Middle East

UN Security Council Condemns Libya Violence

Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya's deputy ambassador at the United Nations, speaks to reporters at the entrance to the Libyan Mission in New York February 21, 2011
Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya's deputy ambassador at the United Nations, speaks to reporters at the entrance to the Libyan Mission in New York February 21, 2011

The U.N. Security Council has strongly condemned the violent crackdown on protesters in the North African country of Libya and called for an immediate end to the violence. But as the council issued its statement Tuesday, the Libyan deputy U.N. Ambassador warned that new attacks have begun on civilians in the western part of the country.

In a statement read by Brazilian Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, whose country holds the council’s rotating presidency this month, the 15-member Security Council called for an immediate end to the violence.

"The members of the Security Council expressed grave concern at the situation in Libya," said Ambassador Ribeiro Viotti. "They condemned the violence and use of force against civilians, deplored the repression against peaceful demonstrators, and expressed deep regret at the deaths of hundreds of civilians. They called for an immediate end to the violence and for steps to address the legitimate demands of the population, including through national dialogue."

The council statement also called on the Libyan government to meet its responsibility to protect its population and demanded that international human rights monitors and humanitarian agencies be allowed into the country immediately.

The council also expressed deep concern about the safety of foreign national in Libya and urged the government and other relevant parties to ensure their safety and facilitate the safe departure of those who wish to leave.

Going further, the council also underlined the need for the Libyan government to respect the basic rights of its people, including freedom of peaceful assembly, expression and freedom of the press.

The U.N.’s most powerful body also suggested that there could be repercussions for those behind the violence.

"The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of accountability," said Ribeiro Viotti. "They underscored the need to hold to account those responsible for attacks, including by forces under their control, on civilians."

The council and member states were briefed in a closed session by U.N. Political Chief Lynn Pascoe and Libya’s U.N. Ambassador Abd al-Rahman Shalgham.

Earlier, Ambassador Shalgham told reporters that he supports Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who he said is an old friend. But his deputy, Ibrahim Dabbashi, has called for the Libyan leader’s resignation.

Dabbashi told reporters the Security Council’s statement could have been stronger, but was a good message to the government to stop the bloodshed against the Libyan people. He then warned that he had received information following Colonel Gadhafi’s televised speech that the army had begun attacking civilians in several cities in the western part of Libya.

"He [Gadhafi] managed to have some of his colleagues in the army and they gathered some units and now they are attacking the people in all the cities in western Libya," said Dabbashi. "Certainly the people have no arms. And I think the genocide started now in Libya, and I think the Gadhafi statement was just a code for his collaborators to start the genocide against the Libyan people."

Human Rights groups welcomed the council’s statement but urged the body to go further and impose an arms embargo on Libya and a travel ban and asset freeze on senior Libyan officials found responsible for grave human rights violations.

 

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

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs