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

    Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora