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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Libyan PM sounded desperate after UN resolution: Ban


Libya
UN chief Ban Ki-moon told a meeting of top world officials on Libya that the country's prime minister had assured him of compliance with a ceasefire and had sounded "rather desperate" to prevent international military action.

At the meeting in Paris to plan action against Libya, Secretary General Ban said that after the Security Council authorised use of force in the country, Libya's Prime Minister Al Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi had assured compliance with a ceasefire.



The Security Council resolution, adopted on Thursday, called for an immediate ceasefire and authorised "all necessary measures" for protecting civilians in Libya from Col Mummar Gaddafi's forces.

"He asked me to intervene to stop military action on the part of the international community," Ban said in the meeting attended by the leaders of the US, UK, France and Arab countries.

"Frankly he sounded rather desperate," he added.

The UN chief further said that the prime minister called for organising and monitoring team to observe the ceasefire, and that the Libyans were "trying hard to ward off military action".

India, China, Russia, Brazil and Germany abstained from voting on the resolution, which was co-authored by Britain and France.

The meeting in Paris authorised immediate military action against Libya's forces and French jets swooped over the eastern city of Benghazi.

French fighter jets opened fire on targets in Libya and Al Jazeera reported that four tanks belonging to Gaddafi's forces had been hit.

Gaddafi's forces had reportedly violated the ceasefire by attacking the eastern city of Benghazi.

In Paris, Ban called for "complete dismantling of their military deployments of both armed forces as well as heavy weaponry around the major cities of Libya".

Ban also repeated his call for accountability.

"Many of the acts we are witnessing appear to constitute crimes against humanity, punishable under international law," he said.

After the meeting, the gathering of leaders in Paris issued a statement saying that they were "determined to act collectively and resolutely to give full effect to these decisions".

"This situation is intolerable," the statement said.

"Our commitment is for the long term; we will not let Colonel Gaddafi and his regimes go on defying the will of the international community and scorning that of his people," it added.


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