Britain, France to Gaddafi: Stand down or face no-fly zone

Germany opposes move, says military intervention counterproductive; ICC chief prosecutor: Gaddafi committing crimes against humanity, there will be "no impunity in Libya"; opposition forces to be probed.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
March 3, 2011 14:44
2 minute read.
William Hague

William Hague (R) 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)

France and Britain told Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday they would press for the imposition of a no-fly zone if attacks against his country's citizens continued.

The warning came after talks in Paris between French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and his British counterpart, William Hague.

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Britain and France want Gaddafi to stand down and were working on "bold and ambitious" proposals to put to a European Union leaders' meeting on Libya next week to step up pressure, the two ministers told reporters.

London and Paris called on Monday for a meeting of EU leaders to discuss Libya, a summit slated for March 11.

Germany, however, is against any foreign military intervention in Libya, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Thursday.

"We do not participate, and we do not share a discussion of military intervention, because we think this would be very counterproductive," he said at a meeting of central European foreign ministers in Slovakia.

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Meanwhile, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, members of his inner circle, and some of his sons, will be investigated by the International Criminal Court for "serious allegations" of crimes against the civilian population in Libya, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Thursday.

Speaking at a press conference in The Hague in the Netherlands, Moreno-Ocampo said the crimes include claims that Gaddafi used violence against peaceful forces demonstrating across the North African nation. The list comprises between 13-15 individuals, and includes Gaddafi's head of personal security, and the head of external security forces among others.

Moreno-Ocampo added that the Arab League unanimously agrees with the suggestion, and that there will be "no impunity in Libya." He said that a government may not attack their own civilians, and such actions constitute crimes against humanity.

Opposition forces will also be investigated, the chief prosecutor added.

The United Nations Security Council on Saturday imposed sanctions on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his family, and referred Libya's crackdown on anti-government demonstrators to the International Criminal Court.


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