LIBYA: Ambassador calls for no-fly zone as Security Council prepares to meet
Libya’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations told Bloomberg he will ask the Security Council Tuesday to impose a no-fly zone over his nation to prevent arms and mercenaries from coming to the defense of embattled leader Moammar Kadafi.
Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi, who on Monday broke with the Kadafi regime and called its attacks on peaceful protesters "genocide," told Bloomberg he also will ask the U.N. to ensure safe passage for humanitarian supplies to the country, and for an investigation of crimes committed by the regime.
The Security Council met briefly concerning Libya Tuesday morning and decided to hold a formal meeting at 3 p.m. in New York, when Dabbashi and a representative of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be invited to speak, according to Bloomberg. The meeting will produce a statement but not immediate action on Dabbashi’s requests, diplomats told Bloomberg.
The proceedings in New York were complicated by the appearance at the entrance of the Security Council chamber of Mohammed Shalgham, Libya’s ambassador to the U.N. and titular head of the mission, according to Bloomberg.
Shalgham told reporters that though he is calling for an end to the "bloodshed" and changes that include a new constitution for Libya, he doesn’t blame Kadafi for violence in his country and doesn't agree with Dabbashi's requests to the U.N.
"Kadafi is my friend," Shalgham said. "I can criticize him but I cannot attack him. He is very brave."
Shalgham also said that he would resign unless the violence ended.
London-based Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in New York released a statement Tuesday urging the Security Council to authorize an investigation of the violence against protesters and impose a total arms embargo on Libya.
-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Photo: Protesters sit on the roof of a burnt city council building in Tobruk, Libya, Tuesday. Credit: Asmaa Waguih / Reuters