Ban asks UNSC to take concrete action to stop Libya violence

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United Nations, Feb 26 (PTI) UN chief Ban Ki-moon hasasked the powerful Security Council to take "concrete action"against Muammar Gaddafi''s regime in Libya to stop his forces''bloody crackdown against anti-government protesters, warningthat any delay would add to the death toll which has alreadycrossed 1,000.

"It is time for the Security Council to consider concreteaction," he said in his address to the 15-member body,including India, which held its second meeting on Libya inless than a week.

The loss of time means more loss of lives, Ban saidlast evening, adding that the estimated death toll in theviolence in Libya in recent days was more than 1,000.

The UNSC meeting is scheduled to continue today as wellduring which the Council would consider a draft resolution,"including specific targeted measures aimed at putting an endto violence, helping achieve a peaceful solution to thecurrent crisis, ensuring accountability and respecting thewill of the Libyan people," its President for this month,Brazilian Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, said.

"These accounts -- from the press, from human rightsgroups and from civilians on the ground - raise grave concernsabout the nature and scale of the conflict. They includeallegations of indiscriminate killings, arbitrary arrests,shooting of peaceful demonstrators, the detention and tortureof the opposition and the use of foreign mercenaries," hesaid.

Some 22,000 have fled to Tunisia and a reported 15,000to Egypt, Ban said.

"It is time for the Security Council to considerconcrete action. The hours and the days ahead will be decisivefor Libyans and their country, with equally importantimplications for the wider region.

"The statements and actions of the Security Council areeagerly awaited and will be closely followed throughout theregion," Ban said.

Later, Ban told reporters that he has urged the SecurityCouncil to go through a wide range of options.

"I understand that the Security Council is veryseriously considering all possible options but that is up tothe Member States of the Security Council -- to determine whatcourse of action should be taken at this time," he said.

"I am not sure, after having spoken extensively with ColGaddafi, whether he will yield to the calls of theinternational community. Of course, whenever it is necessary,I am willing to do anything to protect civilian populationsand to stop the violence. But he has been trying to justifyand defend his position; I have been trying to talk to all theleaders in the region and I will continue to do that," Bansaid in response to a question.

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