Security Council discusses action against Libya

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Betwa SharmaUnited Nations, Feb 26 (PTI) The UN Security Counciltoday brainstormed on how to sanction the Libyan dictator forhis brutal suppression of pro-democracy protests in hiscountry, with member nations to decide on arms embargo, trvelban and asset freeze on Mumammar Gaddafi.

India and 14 other members of the UNSC met to discussa resolution containing possible actions against the Libyanleadership.

The 15-nation body had its first round ofconsultations on the draft on Friday.

China, Russia, South Africa, India and other nationshave expressed various levels of concern about a proposal torefer the Libya crackdown to the International Criminal Courtfor a possible crimes against humanity investigation,diplomats said.

Since then, the Council nations have conferred withtheir governments on the text before convening today.

The options include travel bans and asset freezes onthe Libyan leadership led by Muammar Gaddafi, an arms embargoand possibly even referring the recent events to theInternational Criminal Court.

Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Brazilian diplomat andcurrent president of the Council, told journalists on Fridaythat the 15-nation body will deliberate on "specific targetedmeasures aimed at putting an end to violence, helping achievea peaceful solution to the current crisis, ensuringaccountability and respecting the will of the Libyan people."The draft resolution, which has been prepared byFrance, Britain, United States and Germany, comes after apress statement issued by the Security Council, which did nothave the desired effect of deterring the Libyan leader.

"We need a courageous resolution from you," MohamedShalgham, the Libyan ambassador to the UN, who has turnedagainst Gadaffi, told the Council on Friday.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has also called on the SecurityCouncil to take "concrete action" against those perpetratingthe violence.

"When a State is manifestly failing to protect itspopulation from serious international crimes, theinternational community has the responsibility to step in andtake protective action in a collective, timely and decisivemanner," Ban said on Friday Navi Pillay, the UN human rightschief, has said that some sources indicate that thousands ofpeople may have been killed in Libya.

"The crackdown in Libya of peaceful demonstrations isescalating alarmingly with reported mass killings, arbitraryarrests, detention and torture of protestors," Pillay said onFriday in Geneva.

Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Council on Genevapassed a resolution with a decision to suspend Libya''smembership from the 47-nation body.

This decision needs to be approved two-thirds of the192-member General Assembly.

The US already announced sanctions against Libya onFriday. On Monday, Ban will travel to Washington, DC to meetwith President Barack Obama to discuss measures for stoppingthe violence in Libya.

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