Libyan gov't announces increase in wages, food subsidies

In bid to maintain power, gov't says public sector wages to rise 150%; UNSC set to discuss arms embargo, sanctions on Libya; videos show evidence of mass executions as unrest enters 9th day.

February 25, 2011 10:42
2 minute read.
Anti-Gaddafi gunmen in Libya

Anti-Gaddafi gunmen in Libya 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

The UN Security Council was scheduled to meet Friday afternoon to discuss a proposal backed by France and Britain for sanctions against Libyan leaders over recent violence against demonstrators in the North African country, Reuters reported.

The French and British plan to ask the UN for an arms embargo and financial sanctions against Libya, and intend to take Libyan leaders to the International Criminal Court over crimes against humanity.

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Although no vote is expected on a sanctions resolution, Western diplomats told Reuters they hope for quick negotiations on the document next week.

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Friday called an emergency NATO council meeting to discuss the situation in Libya, reported Reuters.

"It's a bit premature to go into specifics but it's well-known that NATO has assets that can be used in a situation like this and NATO can act as an enabler and coordinator if and when individual member states want to take action," Rasmussen was quoted as saying.

As the unrest in Libya enters its ninth day, former Libyan justice minister Mustafa Abdel Galil, who resigned from his post earlier this week, warned on Friday that Gaddafi may use biological and chemical weapons against civilians, according to an Al Jazeera report.

"We call on the international community and the UN to prevent Gaddafi from going on with his plans in Tripoli," Galil told Al Jazeera.

"At the end when he’s really pressured, he can do anything. I think Gaddafi will burn everything left behind him."

Galil's comments come after evidence of mass executions by government forces emerged in recent days based on videos uploaded on YouTube.

The clips show dead and bloody bodies of people who are reportedly soldiers, after they were executed for refusing to shoot demonstrators. Other videos showed civilians preparing mass graves in Libya. The videos come amid reports Thursday that as many as 2,000 people have been killed in the Libyan unrest.

After heavy fighting continued Thursday, with medical officials saying 15 people were killed in a mosque attack by militiamen, reports said Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was preparing soldiers for a fight over Tripoli on Friday.

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Earlier, the Libyan government appeared to have lost control of much of the eastern part of the nation while protestors claimed new gains in cities and towns closer to the heart of Gaddafi's regime in the capital.

Among the gains, protesters said they had taken over Misrata, which would be the largest city in the western half of the country to fall into their hands.

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