UNITED NATIONS — Key Western nations urged the UN Security
Council on Tuesday to demand an immediate end to Libyan leader Muammar
Gaddafi's bloody crackdown on civilian protesters and strongly condemn
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The UN's most powerful body met behind closed doors Tuesday morning to
discuss possible council action, most likely a press statement agreed
by all 15 members, as key Libyan diplomats around the world disowned
Germany's UN Ambassador Peter Wittig told reporters as he headed into the meeting that his country wants "a swift and clear message of the council."
Several Western diplomats said at a minimum they want a council statement Tuesday condemning the violence against Libyan civilians, demanding an immediate end to the crackdown, and calling on all parties to act with restraint, and respect human rights and international law. They also want the council to demand full protection for foreign nationals and access for humanitarian assistance and human rights monitors, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the consultations were private.
Brazil, which holds the council presidency this month, called the meeting after receiving a letter from Libya's deputy UN ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi, who signed it as "charge d'affaires," meaning he was running Libya's UN Mission. Diplomats said there was some question of whether he was, in fact, in charge but Germany, a non-permanent council member, said it would call for consultations if there was a question.
Dabbashi on Monday urged
Gaddafi to step down and warned that if he doesn't leave, "the Libyan people will get rid of him."
Libyan ambassador to the United States also urged
Gaddafi to step down, the ambassador to India resigned as did the
ambassador to Bangladesh who protested the killing of family members by
Protesters, meanwhile, gathered at some Libyan
embassies around the world, including those in Sweden and Serbia. In
Stockholm, they were allowed into the embassy, where they raised the
flag of the monarchy that was toppled by Moammar
Gaddafi's military coup in 1969.
Almost all Libyan diplomats at the United Nations backed Dabbashi's pleas to
Gaddafi to end his 40-year rule and to the international community to intervene.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters in Beverly Hills,
California, that he hopes "the Security Council will take this matter on
an urgent basis."
Ban said it was up to the Security Council to
decide whether to call for a "no-fly zone" over Libya to protect
protesters from attacks by Libyan aircraft.
Gaddafi'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
Ban said he had spoken to
Gaddafi on Monday for 40 minutes and "forcefully urged him to stop
violence against demonstrators and again strongly underlined the
importance of respecting the human rights of those demonstrators."
expressed outrage at what he described as "very disturbing and shocking
scenes" of Libyan authorities firing at demonstrators from warplanes
"This is unacceptable. This must stop
immediately. This is a serious violation of international humanitarian
law," Ban told reporters at a hotel in Beverly Hills.
Libya's ambassador to the United States called for
Gaddafi to step down and asked the international community to condemn strongly the regime's violent crackdown.
no other solution. He should step down and give the chance for the
people to make their future," Ambassador Ali Aujali said in an interview
with The Associated Press.
Aujali added: "How can I support the
government killing our people? ... What I have seen in front of my eyes
now is not acceptable at all."
Aujali, who has been Libya's
ambassador to the United States since 2009, said he was not resigning
his post, because he is part of the "good side" of the Libyan government
and not part of the killing.
"There are many people working very
hard to make things work in the right way but, unfortunately, we don't
have enough power that we can change everything going on in Libya," he
Dabbashi, the deputy UN ambassador, also said he and the UN
diplomats were not resigning because they served the people of Libya
and not the regime.
Libya's UN Ambassador Mohamed Shalgham was
not present at Dabbashi's press conference. He told the UN 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
Gaddafi government and was trying "to persuade them to stop these acts."
ambassador to Bangladesh, A.H. Elimam, resigned late Monday to protest
the killing of family members by government soldiers in Libya, said a
senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka who spoke on
condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the issue, and
provided no other details.
In India, Libyan Ambassador Ali
al-Essawi told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he had resigned his
post, effective Tuesday. "The authorities are killing peaceful people,
which is not acceptable," Essawi said.
Libya's ambassador to Indonesia was quoted in the English-language Jakarta Post
as saying he has resigned. "Soldiers are killing unarmed civilians
mercilessly. Using heavy weaponry, fighter jets and mercenaries against
its own people. It is not acceptable," Salaheddin M. El Bishari said.
Repeated phone calls to the Libyan Embassy in the capital, Jakarta, went
Abdel-Moneim al-Houni, who resigned Sunday as Libya's ambassador to the Arab League in Cairo, demanded that
Gaddafi and his commanders and aides be put on trial for "the mass killings in Libya."