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UN Security Council slaps Libya with sanctions

News18

Updated: February 27, 2011, 7:30 AM IST
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UN Security Council slaps Libya with sanctions
The United Nations estimates that 1,000 people have been killed since the Libyan uprising began.

United Nations: The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a draft resolution on Saturday to impose sanctions against Libya amid Muammar Gaddafi's escalating crackdown on anti-government protesters.

It includes an arms embargo, asset freeze and travel bans for Gaddafi and several of his associates. The resolution also refers the situation unfolding in Libya to the International Criminal Court.

"This is clear warning to the Libyan government that it must stop the killing. Those who slaughter civilians will be held personally accountable," Susan Rice, US ambassador to the United Nations, said immediately after the vote.

Gerard Araud, France's ambassador to the United Nations, described the pace of the resolution proceedings earlier in the day as "an earthquake." He and several other ambassadors said on their way to the meeting they were optimistic the resolution would come up for a vote on Saturday.

One point of contention revolved around language that referred to adopting "all necessary measures to enable the return to Libya of humanitarian agencies and to secure the prompt and safe delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need."

There was concern that the language could be interpreted as including military intervention.

That section of the resolution was softened in the approved version to call on member states to work together to "facilitate and support" the return of humanitarian agencies.

The United Nations estimates that 1,000 people have been killed since the Libyan uprising began last week.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Security Council to come up with immediate actions against Gaddhafi's regime.

"In these circumstances, the loss of time means more loss of lives," Ban told the 15-member body Friday.
The session Saturday comes the day after Libyan Ambassador Mohamed Shalgam made an impassioned appeal to his United Nations counterparts.

"I hope within hours, not days, that they can do something tangible," he said.

Some, however, were skeptical of the sanctions and said they would not have teeth.

Fouad Ajami of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies told CNN that Gaddafi had survived sanctions once before, in the aftermath of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

"The sanctions never worked," he said. "Anyone with money can break these sanctions."

First Published: February 27, 2011, 7:30 AM IST
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