News / Africa

US Introduces UN Resolution to Release $1.5B in Libyan Assets

Smoke rises above downtown Tripoli following fighting at Bab Al-Aziziya compound August 23, 2011
Smoke rises above downtown Tripoli following fighting at Bab Al-Aziziya compound August 23, 2011
Margaret Besheer

The United States has introduced a resolution at the U.N. Security Council to unfreeze $1.5 billion in Libyan assets for urgent humanitarian needs. The money would be released to the Transitional National Council, which is headed by opponents of embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The U.S. began the push to unfreeze some of Libya’s billions of dollars of assets in U.S. banks on August 8 through the Security Council sanctions committee that oversees such measures. But that committee requires the consensus of all 15 members for action, and member South Africa opposed unfreezing a portion of those funds, essentially blocking the committee’s ability to release the entire package.

Thus, the U.S. moved Wednesday to bring the matter before the Security Council in the form of a resolution, which would require only nine votes in favor and no vetoes.

The draft resolution proposes releasing up to $500 million for international humanitarian organizations and to help fund a U.N. humanitarian appeal. It further proposes unfreezing up to $500 million for the purchase of fuel for electricity, water plants and hospitals, as well as other goods; and a final slice of up to $500 million for expenses related to the Transitional National Council for the provision of social services, including education, healthcare, food subsidies and other humanitarian needs.

South Africa’s U.N. Ambassador Baso Sangqu told reporters that Pretoria does not object to releasing the portion of funds designated for international humanitarian agencies and the U.N. humanitarian appeal, but his government does have concerns about the remaining one billion dollars which would go through the TNC for fuel purchases and other programs. “It is important that the monies of Libya, the funds of Libya, go to the rightful owners of Libya, and to the rightful people of Libya," he said.

On Thursday, the African Union Peace and Security Council will discuss the Libyan issue and Ambassador Sangqu said Pretoria wants to know their opinion before acting because Libya is an AU member. He added that while South Africa has held meetings with the TNC they have not yet recognized them as the sole, legal representative of the Libyan people, and that is another reason Pretoria is reluctant to release the funds.

“All of us were given an opportunity to do due diligence - where is this money going to go? Who is it going to go to? Are those people accountable? Are they accountable, importantly, to the Libyan people? Have they been mandated by the Libyan people to be able to act on their behalf? These are all the questions that all of us have been asking. In our view, that consideration must involve the AU, of which Libya continues to be a member, it must take into consideration the views of the AU," he said.

A U.S official said Washington prefers to settle the matter by consensus through the sanctions committee and hopes that South Africa, as the sole holdout, will change its position. But if it does not, the U.S. will move to bring the resolution to a vote either Thursday or Friday, so the funds can be released quickly to pay for urgent needs.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid