UNSC demands immediate end to violence in Libya

UNSC is seeking an immediate end to violence in Libya that has killed "hundreds of civilians".

Updated: Feb 23, 2011, 13:00 PM IST

United Nations: Seeking an immediate end to
violence in Libya that has killed "hundreds of civilians,"
India and 14 other members of the UN Security Council have
asked the regime of Moammar Gaddafi to address the legitimate
demands of the people protesting against his 41-year rule.

The Security Council "condemned the violence and use of
force against civilians, deplored the repression against
peaceful demonstrators and expressed deep regret at the deaths
of hundreds of civilians", following a closed-door meeting of
the powerful body last night.

In a statement issued in response to a violent crackdown
against pro-democracy protesters in Libya, the 15 members of
the Council "called for an immediate end to the violence and
for steps to address the legitimate demands of the population,
including through national dialogue."

The Security Council "strongly urged the Libyan
authorities to ensure the safe passage of humanitarian and
medical supplies and humanitarian workers into the country."

The closed-door meeting of the Council was briefed by B
Lynn Pascoe, UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs;
and Libya`s envoy to the UN, Mohammed Shalgam.

Rosemary DiCarlo, US deputy envoy to the UN, said
separately that "the international community has said in one
clear and unified voice that it condemns the violence against
civilians in Libya, that the violence must cease immediately."

The world body also welcomed the statement issued by the
Arab League, which barred Libya from its meetings until it
stopped attacking its own people.

Navi Pillay, UN human rights chief, blasted the crackdown
by the forces loyal to 68-year-old Gaddafi against the
protesters and called for an independent investigation into
crimes that may have been committed.

"The international community must unite in condemnation
of such acts and make unequivocal commitments to ensure
justice is rendered to the thousands of victims of this
repression," she said.

Following the overthrow of regimes in Tunisia and Egypt,
large-scale protests have erupted in several countries in the
region including Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. Libya, however, has
responded with an extreme show of force.

International censure against Gaddafi escalated after
reports that the regime was firing at the protesters from war
planes. UN chief Ban Ki-moon described this as "outrageous."

In a letter to the Council, the country`s deputy
ambassador to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi, who has demanded
Gaddafi`s resignation, called for establishment of a non-fly
zone over Libya and a humanitarian corridor.

During the closed-door meeting of the Council, India
called for protection of foreigners and facilitating their
safe departure, an official source said.

PTI