UN Security council to decide on sanctions against Libya

Friday, February 25, 2011

UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council Saturday may adopt sanctions against Libya aimed at stopping the bloodshed in the country, Brazil’s Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti said.

Brazil holds the monthly presidency of the 15-member global body for February.

According to RIA Novosti, Viotti said the Council has agreed to meet Saturday to consider a draft resolution, “including specific targeted measures aimed at putting an end to violence, helping achieve a peaceful solution to the current crisis, ensuring accountability and respecting the will of the Libyan people”.

According to international organisations, at least 2,000 people have been killed and thousands wounded in clashes with government forces since protests against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year-old regime began Feb 14.

French Ambassador Gerard Araud also told journalists that the sanctions resolution could be adopted Saturday afternoon, and that Security Council members in general have no differences on its contents.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the Security Council Friday to promptly consider specific steps against Gaddafi’s government for its clampdown on protesters, with options ranging from sanctions to assured punishment.

“In these circumstances, the loss of time means more loss of lives,” Ban told the Council during a meeting on peace and security in Africa. “It is time for the Security Council to consider concrete action.”

“Some member states are calling for a comprehensive arms embargo, while others highlight the clear and egregious violations of human rights and urge the Security Council to take effective action to ensure real accountability,” the UN said on its website.

“The hours and the days ahead will be decisive for Libyans and their country, with equally important implications for the wider region,” Ban said.

“The statements and actions of the Security Council are eagerly awaited and will be closely followed throughout the region. Whatever your course, let us be mindful of the urgency of the moment,” he said.

Calling for “a concrete action, the UN chief has urged the international community “to do everything possible” to protect civilians in Libya.

Meanwhile, Libya’s top prosecutor, Abdul-Rahman al-Abbar, has resigned to join the opposition against Gaddafi.

Gaddafi’s cousin and close aide, Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam, defected to Egypt Thursday to protest against the government’s crackdown on demonstrators.

Ban is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama in Washington Monday and expected to discuss the situation in Libya.

According to DPA, the US late Friday imposed unilateral economic and weapons sanctions on Libya’s government for its ongoing crackdown on protesters.

President Barack Obama cited the Libyan government’s “continued violation of human rights, brutalization of its people and outrageous threats”.

“By any measure, (Gaddafi’s) government has violated international norms and common decency and must be held accountable,” Obama said in a statement.

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