No signs of ceasefire in Libya, says UN chief

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Ban Ki-moon
United Nations, Mar 29: Before heading to London to attend a conference on Libya, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said that there were no signs of a ceasefire in the North African country where Muammar Gaddafi''s forces are battling rebels.

"Despite repeated claims by the Libyan authorities, we continue to see no evidence of a cease-fire, nor any steps by the Libyan authorities to fulfill their obligations under resolutions 1970 and 1973," Ban told the General Assembly yesterday.

"We continue to have serious concerns about the protection of civilians and respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, and we continue to stress the urgent need for humanitarian access," he added.

"For my part, I will continue to engage in wide-ranging diplomatic efforts aimed at a cease-fire and a political solution," Ban told members of the world body.

Ban''s special envoy to Libya, former Jordanian foreign minister Abdelilah Al-Khatib, will join him at the London conference, which will be attended by more than 40 countries.

On Feb 26, the Council slapped sanctions on the Libyan regime including an arms embargo, an asset freeze and travel ban on Gaddafi and his loyalists, and a referral to the Hague-based International Criminal Court.

In March, the Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire, establishing a no-fly zone and authorized "all necessary measures" for protecting civilians in Libya.

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

The committee to monitor the sanctions against Libya is set to begin work, according to Portuguese Ambassador Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral.

"Broadly speaking, the Committee's tasks include overseeing the arms embargo, travel ban, assets freeze and, ban on flights of Libyan aircraft," he told the Security Council.

Cabral said that the request will be sent to the member-states of the UN to inform the committee about how they are implementing the sanctions.

PTI

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