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India shuts down Embassy in strife-torn Libya

News18

Updated: March 29, 2011, 11:02 AM IST
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India shuts down Embassy in strife-torn Libya
Libya has been witnessing violent clashes between Muammar Gaddafi's forces and rebels.

New Delhi/London: India has shut down its Embassy in strife-torn Libya. The Indian Ambassador to Libya, M Manimekalai, will operate from Djerba in Tunisia.

Libya has been witnessing violent clashes for the past few weeks between Muammar Gaddafi's forces and rebels, who want the over 40-year rule 40 of Gaddafi to end.

A United Nations Security Council vote has authorised the use of force in Libya and NATO forces led by the United States of America have enforced a no-fly zone over the country. They have also been bombing the strongholds of Gaddafi's forces.

However, the rebels were stopped in their tracks as they tried to continue a rapid advance toward the capital Tripoli.

Libyan state television aired pictures of what it claimed was a pro-Gaddafi rally in Misrata. Misrata has seen fierce fighting over the past several days. Right now, it isn't clear who controls the Misrata,

The rebels have also been trying to push towards Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte after it was bombed by NATO jets.

Meanwhile, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said that there were no signs of a ceasefire in the North African country.

"Despite repeated claims by the Libyan authorities, we continue to see no evidence of a cease-fire, nor any steps by the Libyan authorities to fulfill their obligations under resolutions 1970 and 1973," Ban told the General Assembly on Monday.

"We continue to have serious concerns about the protection of civilians and respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, and we continue to stress the urgent need for humanitarian access," he added.

On February 26, the Council slapped sanctions on the Libyan regime including an arms embargo, an asset freeze and travel ban on Gaddafi and his loyalists, and a referral to the Hague-based International Criminal Court.

In March, the Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire, establishing a no-fly zone and authorised "all necessary measures" for protecting civilians in Libya.

India, China, Russia, Brazil and Germany abstained from voting on the resolution, which was co-authored by Britain and France.

(With inputs from Libya)

First Published: March 29, 2011, 11:02 AM IST
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