UN Security Council to hold consultation on Libya unrest

Meeting convened at urging of Libyan UN mission diplomats; UN rights chief: Attacks on civilians "may amount to crimes against humanity."

February 22, 2011 12:32
2 minute read.
Unrest in Benghazi, Libya

Libyan flag over protests. (photo credit: AP)


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The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday was expected to hold a consultation on the ongoing violence in Libya.

The meeting in New York, which will take place at 9 a.m. US East Coast time, was convened at the urging of diplomats at the Libyan UN mission who took a stand against their government.

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Gaddafi on Libyan TV: 'I'm in Tripoli, not Venezuela'
Editorial: The UN’s Libya failures

The mission’s deputy ambassador to the UN Ibrahim Dabbashi told the BBC Monday night that there was a “genocide” in his country.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday called for an international investigation into the violence used by security forces against protesters.

The UN's top human rights official said widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population "may amount to crimes against humanity."

In a statement she condemned the "callousness with which Libyan authorities and their hired guns are reportedly shooting live rounds of ammunition at peaceful protesters."


Ban-Ki Moon violence is 'serious violation of international law'

Speaking in Los Angeles on Monday night, UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon told reporters that the Libyan violence was a “serious violation of international law” that was “unacceptable” and “must stop immediately.”

“I have seen very disturbing and shocking scenes where Libyan authorities have been firing at demonstrators from warplanes and helicopters,” he said.

Ban' comments were significantly harsher than the statement he had released earlier in the day in which he said he had phoned Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to “express concern” and “urge restraint.”

Click for full Jpost coverage of turmoil in the Middle East

In Los Angeles, Ban used more strident language to describe the 40 minute conversation with Gaddafi.

“I forcefully urged him [Gaddafi] to stop violence against demonstrators and I again strongly underlined the importance of respecting the human rights of those demonstrating and heeding their urgent aspirations and calls,” Ban said.

He defended his actions and that of his organization against charges that it had not acted quickly and forcibly with respect to Libya.

“I believe I am the first person to have spoken to [Gaddafi] on this issue,” Ban said.

He added that he had closely coordinated with world leaders on this matter, including holding a conversation with the King of Bahrain.

“It is important and imperative that the leaders in the region should attentively listen to the aspirations, concerns and grievances of the people,” he said.

Earlier Monday a group of 70 international rights groups, organized by UN Watch, urged the UN to take action to denounce and halt the Libyan violence.

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