Libya body parts 520.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's speech on Tuesday as "very, very frightening," adding that he had declared war on the Libyan people, Reuters reported.
The German chancellor said that if Gaddafi does not end the violence in his country, she would support sanctions against Tripoli, according to the report.
Gaddafi defies calls to resign: 'I will die a
Key Western nations want condemnation of
Earlier Tuesday, the Arab League suspended Libya's participation in its council meetings, citing the North African country's crackdown on protesters.
The Arab League “condemns crimes against the current peaceful popular protests and demonstrations in several Libyan cities,” Secretary General Amr Moussa told reporters in Cairo today after the group met. He said the security forces’ use of live rounds, heavy weapons and foreign mercenaries is a “grave breach of human rights.”
The organization calls for “respecting Libyans’ right to freedom of protest and expression” as they demand democratic change, he said. Humanitarian aid must be allowed into the country, the Arab League leader said.
Libya will be barred from taking part in the Arab League’s meetings until leader Muammar Gaddafi responds to the organization’s demands, Moussa said.
The Obama administration also condemned the "appalling" violence in Libya on Tuesday, where security forces are unleashing a bloody crackdown on protesters demanding the ouster of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. A top lawmaker said the US should consider imposing new sanctions on the regime and called for foreign energy companies to immediately shut down operations in the oil-rich North African nation.
White House spokesman Jay Carney called on Gaddafi’s regime to respect the universal rights of its citizens and allow peaceful protests to take place. Echoing earlier White House statements about anti-government protests in Egypt, he said the future of Libya needs to be decided by the Libyan people.
"We offer our condolences to families of the victims in Libya of this
appalling violence," Carney told reporters traveling with US President
Barack Obama to Cleveland.
Meanwhile, Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, said in a statement that the violent crackdown was "cowardly"
and "beyond despicable." He urged US and international oil companies to
immediately suspend their Libyan operations until attacks on civilians
He also called on the Obama administration to consider re-imposing
sanctions against Libya that were lifted by former US president George
W. Bush after Gaddafi renounced terrorism and abandoned development of
chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. He said Arab League and
African Union should investigate reports of atrocities.
"These are concrete steps that must be taken now and in the days ahead
to show that the world will respond with actions not just words when a
regime wields reprehensible violence against its own people," said
The White House has sometimes tapped Kerry to float possible foreign
policy strategies Asked about Kerry’s suggestions, Carney said, "We are
looking at his proposal but right now we are focusing on ending the
Gaddafi appeared on state television Tuesday and vowed to fight
protesters and to die a martyr. Despite eyewitness accounts of soldiers,
including alleged mercenaries, opening fire on protesters in numerous
cities, he said he had not ordered the demonstrations suppressed with
violence. But he said those agitating for change deserved the death
penalty under Libyan law.
Citing the unrest and potential for further violence, the State
Department on Monday ordered non-essential American diplomats and the
families of all workers at the US Embassy in Tripoli to leave Libya. It
also urged Americans to stay away from the country and said that US
citizens already in Libya should either make plans to depart or seek
shelter in a safe place. Bloomberg contributed to this report.