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World Against Gaddafi

  • February 28th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

gaddafi-21.jpgCombined action against  Libya on the weekend by world powers saw a unanimous vote  by the UN Security Council (27.2.11) to impose sanctions on Muammar al-Gaddafi and his government.

BANS, AND THE CRIMINAL COURT

The United Nations resolution mandated a ban on travel by Gaddafi and his inner circle, a freeze on their assets, an arms embargo  and a reference to the International Criminal Court over the violent repression of dissent.

AUSTRALIAN RESPONSE

rudd-abc.jpgThe Australian Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, travelled to Cairo, where he announced (27.2.11) the Australian government had followed Europe and the United States in imposing autonomous sanctions, ahead of the UN move in New York.

It backed the Court action, in response to “atrocities against the people of Libya by the regime”.

He told Australian ABC television, 70 Australians had been evacuated from Libya in a joint operation with Canada and the United Kingdom; 13 remained in the country, and inquiries were continuing about one Australian man who’d been detained by Libyan authorities.

Australian diplomatic staff had moved out, to Malta, because of the parlous security situation on the ground.

Mr Rudd expressed support for a “no fly zone” over Libya, to restrain the Libyan air force from “further acts of mass violence”, block access to supplies for the government side, and assist agencies like the Red Cross to move in.

DEMANDS FOR NO-FLY ZONE

The Secretary General of the NATO Alliance, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said the no-fly zone option would depend on United Nations backing.

He conferred with European Union Defence Ministers, at a meeting in Hungary (25.2.11), and called a high level gathering, an emergency session of the NATO Council;  to monitor closely the “ serious situation in Libya, which affects the safety and security of thousands of citizens, including from NATO countries”, he said.

PRESSURE FROM EU

The EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, also in Hungary, said the restrictive measures later agreed to at the United Nations, would “put as much pressure as possible to try and stop the violence in Libya …”.

“Everything that we do, our objectives remain the same, which is to see a feasible dialogue, to move forward, for people to be able to get to the democracies they clearly want, and in my recent visit to Egypt and Tunisia we have given the same message”, she said.

ACTION AT SEA

EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers were also conferring, on the surge in migration across the Mediterranean from the North African countries in crisis, and on legal questions as they moved to set up democratic systems.

The Ministers were told a new joint operation had been started by Italian forces and the EU’s FRONTEX border patrol, to cope with actual and potential arrivals – and a large number of EU member states had provided technical assets and specialised personnel for that operation.

In Libya itself, an exodus of foreign workers, and many Libyan citizens continued across the Eastern and Western borders; outside powers were moving to assist their own – three ships sent from Germany, and charter planes from China; while the country remained divided, insurgents occupying the main centres in the east, and the Gaddafi forces concentrated mostly in the region of Tripoli, the capital.

Reference

BBC News, London, “The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to impose sanctions on Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan regime for its attempts to put down an uprising”, 27.2.11. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12590272  27.2.11, (27.2.11).

Bill Varner and Maram Mazen, Business Week, Bloomberg (NY),  “UN Security Council Imposes Sanctions Against Libya’s Qaddafi”, 27.2.11. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-02-27/un-security-council-imposes-sanctions-against-libya-s-qaddafi.html, (27.2.11).

EU, Brussels, “Remarks by High Representative, Catherine Ashton on Libya in the margins of the Informal Defence Ministerial Meeting … Gödöllo, Hungary”,  A 071/11, 25.2.11.

European Council, Brussels,  “Europe’s response to migration from North Africa”, 24.2.11.  http://www.consilium.europa.eu/showFocus.aspx?id=1&focusid=564&lang=EN, (27.2.11).

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