UN Security Council Authorizes Military Strikes on Libya (JERUSALEM POST) By JORDANA HORN, JPOST CORRESPONDENT 03/18/11)
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NEW YORK – The United Nations Security Council voted Thursday to
authorize military force against Libyan leader Colonel Muammar
“Today the Security Council has responded to the Libyan people´s cry
for help,” US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said. “This Council´s
purpose is clear: to protect innocent civilians.”
The resolution demands the "immediate establishment of a cease-fire
and a complete end to violence and all attacks, and abuses, of
civilians." The resolution stipulates that member states, upon
notification to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Arab League
Secretary General Amr Moussa, can “take all necessary measures...to
protect civilians and civilian populated areas, including Benghazi,
while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of
The Security Council’s authorization of the use of force also
includes the enforcement of a no-fly zone to protect civilians, as
well as an enforcement of the arms embargo, banning all international
flights by Libyan owned or operated aircraft. The resolution also
freezes the assets of certain individuals and five entities including
critical state-owned Libyan companies. A newly established Libyan
Sanctions Committee is empowered by the resolution to impose
sanctions on those who violate the arms embargo, including by
providing Gadhafi with mercenaries.
“The future of Libya should be decided by the people of Libya,” Rice
said in her remarks to the Security Council. “The United States
stands with the Libyan people in support of their universal rights.”
The resolution was backed strongly by France, the United Kingdom and
Lebanon. Ten countries voted in favor of the resolution. Russia,
China, Germany, India and Brazil abstained.
"Our resolution is aimed to protect Libyan civilians," Lebanon’s
ambassador to the UN Nawaf Salam said. "It will not result in the
occupation of even an inch of Libyan territory."
The BBC has reported that raids conducted by unmanned drones could
take place as early as Friday.
United Kingdom Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall told the Security
Council that the situation in Libya, as Gadhafi pushes toward the
rebel stronghold of Benghazi, is now clear, and that “a violent,
discredited regime which has lost all legitimacy is using weapons of
war against civilians.”
“The international community has come together in deploring the
actions of the Gadhafi regime and demanding that the regime end this
violence against the Libyan people,” Lyall told the body. “The Libyan
population want the same rights and freedoms that people across the
Middle East and North Africa are demanding, and that are enshrined in
the values of the United Nations Charter. Today’s resolution puts the
weight of the Security Council squarely behind the Libyan people in
defense of those values."
Gaddafi says will show ´no mercy, no pity´ in Benghazi
The UN resolution came hours after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
threatened to storm the rebel bastion of Benghazi overnight,
showing "no mercy, no pity".
Al Jazeera television showed thousands of Benghazi residents in a
central square celebrating the UN vote, waving anti-Gaddafi tricolor
flags and chanting defiance of the man who has ruled for four
decades. Fireworks burst over the city.
Gaddafi had warned that only those who lay down their arms would be
spared vengeance to be exacted on ´rats and dogs´.
"It´s over. The issue has been decided," Gaddafi said. "We are coming
tonight...We will find you in your closets. "We will have no mercy
and no pity."
Residents said the Libyan air force unleashed three air raids on the
city of 670,000 on Thursday and there has been fierce fighting along
the Mediterranean coastal road as Gaddafi moves to crush the month-
Rebel National Council head Mustafa Abdel Jalil told Al Jazeera
television air strikes were essential to stop Gaddafi.
"We stand on firm ground. We will not be intimidated by these lies
and claims... We will not settle for anything but liberation from
Gaddafi´s Defense Ministry warned of swift retaliation, even beyond
Libyan frontiers, if the UN voted for military action against the oil-
"Any foreign military act against Libya will expose all air and
maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea to danger and civilian and
military [facilities] will become targets of Libya´s counter-attack,"
the ministry said in a statement. Reuters contributed to this report.
(© 1995 - 2011 The Jerusalem Post. 03/18/11)
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