Key Libyan diplomats disown Gadhafi`s regime

Libyan diplomats have urged Gadhafi to end his 40-year rule and the international community to intervene.

Updated: Feb 22, 2011, 09:36 AM IST

United Nations: Key Libyan diplomats have disowned Moammar Gadhafi`s regime and the country`s deputy UN ambassador has called on the longtime ruler to step down because of its bloody crackdown on protesters.

The Libyan ambassador to the United States also said he could no longer support Gadhafi, and the ambassador to India resigned. Almost all Libyan diplomats at the United Nations backed deputy ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi`s pleas to Gadhafi to end his 40-year rule and to the international community to intervene.

The U.N. spokesperson`s office said late Monday that the Security Council had scheduled consultations on the situation in Libya for Tuesday morning.

Earlier, Dabbashi had said he was writing to the Security Council calling for action to stop the bloodshed.

As diplomatic support for Gadhafi began to crumble, Dabbashi warned that if he doesn`t leave, "the Libyan people will get rid of him."

Gadhafi`s security forces unleashed the most deadly crackdown of any Arab country against the wave of protests sweeping the region, with reports Monday that demonstrators were being fired at from helicopters and warplanes. After seven days of protests and deadly clashes in Libya`s eastern cities, the eruption of turmoil in the capital, Tripoli, sharply escalated the challenge to Gadhafi.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon late Monday expressed outrage at the reported aerial attacks, saying they would be "a serious violation of international humanitarian law," and again called for an immediate end to the violence, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said. Earlier Monday, Ban spoke to Gadhafi for 40 minutes urging a halt to the bloodshed, respect for human rights and protection of the civilian population.

Libya`s ambassador in Washington, Ali Adjali, told BBC World that the reports of firing from warplanes spurred his decision not to support the government any more.

"To me it is a very sad moment seeing Libyans killing other Libyans," he said. "I`m not supporting the government killing its people. ... I`m (not) resigning Moammar Gadhafi`s government, but I am with the people. I am representing the people in the street, the people who`ve been killed, the people who`ve been destroyed. Their life is in danger."

Dabbashi, the deputy U.N. ambassador, also said he and the U.N. diplomats were not resigning because they served the people of Libya and not the regime.

"This is in fact a declaration of war against the Libyan people," he told reporters, surrounded by a dozen Libyan diplomats. "The regime of Gadhafi has already started the genocide against the Libyan people."

Libya`s U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Shalgham was not present at Dabbashi`s press conference. He told the U.N. correspondent for the pan-Arab newspaper, Al-Hayat, that all diplomats at Libya`s mission supported Dabbashi "excluding me." Shalgham said he was in touch with the Gadhafi government and was trying "to persuade them to stop these acts."

In New Delhi, an Indian diplomatic official told the AP that the Libyan ambassador to India intends to resign. However, as of Tuesday morning the ambassador, Ali al-Essawi, had not officially met with the foreign ministry to turn in his credentials.

Earlier, al-Essawi told the BBC he had resigned because of "massive violence against Libyan civilians." Abdel-Moneim al-Houni, who resigned Sunday as Libya`s ambassador to the Arab League in Cairo, demanded that Gadhafi and his commanders and aides be put on trial for "the mass killings in Libya."

"Gadhafi`s regime is now in the trash of history because he betrayed his nation and his people," al-Houni said in a statement.

A Libyan diplomat in China, Hussein el-Sadek el-Mesrati, told Al-Jazeera, "I resigned from representing the government of Mussolini and Hitler."
Gadhafi appeared very briefly on Libyan state television early Tuesday to attempt to show he was still in charge and dispel rumors that he had fled.

Gadhafi is reportedly using mercenaries against the protesters and Dabbashi urged the international community to impose a no-flight zone "on the cities of Libya so no mercenaries, no supplies of arms will arrive to the regime."

Dabbashi also urged the international community to establish safe passage for medical supplies from neighboring Tunisia and Egypt to get across the borders to Benghazi, Libya`s second-largest city, which was the scene of the heaviest fighting. By Monday, protesters had claimed control of the city, overrunning its main security headquarters.

"We also call on the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate the crimes against humanity committed by Gadhafi against the Libyan people," Dabbashi told the Associated Press.

The best scenario, he said, "is to have him before the court, to prosecute him and to know from him everything about the crimes he committed before, whether it is ... the genocide he is committing now or the disappearance of certain important personalities... and all the other crimes he has committed during the 42 years in power."
Dabbashi also called on all countries to refuse entry to Gadhafi if he tries to escape and to monitor financial transactions if he tries to send money outside Libya.

Some 70 human rights groups called for immediate international action "to halt the mass atrocities now being perpetrated by the Libyan government against its own people."

The groups urged the U.N. Security Council to meet and take action to protect Libyan civilians from "crimes against humanity," and they urged the U.N. General Assembly to suspend Libya from membership on the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.