U.N. votes to impose sanction on Gaddafi

By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 27, 2011

UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Saturday night to impose military and financial sanctions against Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and his inner circle and to refer his regime’s crackdown on protesters to a war crimes tribunal for an investigation of possible crimes against humanity.

The move came as President Obama for the first time called on Gaddafi to step down, deepening the Libyan leader’s international isolation as he struggles to contain a revolt that threatens his 41-year rule. It also marked the first U.S. vote in support of a Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court, which the United States has not joined.

Speaking by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama said that “when a leader’s only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now,” according to a White House account of the conversation. The statement brings U.S. policy in line with the position that European leaders adopted several days ago.

Obama had taken a more cautious approach, in part because he feared that hundreds of Americans in Tripoli could be in danger if he called for regime change. Those diplomats and other citizens have now been evacuated.

In a statement Saturday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. would work with others to provide humanitarian assistance to Libyans in need. “We will continue to look at the full range of options to hold the Libyan government accountable and support the Libyan people,” she said. “Moammar Gaddafi has lost the confidence of his people and he should go without further bloodshed and violence.”

The hardening U.S. position came as Gaddafi’s renegade U.N. envoy endorsed a draft Security Council resolution Saturday that would impose a range of military and financial sanctions on the Libyan government and authorize the International Criminal Court to investigate.

In a letter to the Security Council president, Libyan envoy Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgam wrote that his delegation “supports the measures proposed in the draft resolution to hold to account those responsible for the armed attacks against the Libyan civilians, including [through] the International Criminal Court.”

A day earlier, Shalgam announced in a tearful appearance before the Security Council that he had broken ranks with his longtime friend, mentor and leader. That announcement followed a wave of defections by Gaddafi’s diplomatic corps, leaving the Libyan ruler essentially without a voice or influence outside the country.

The drama unfolded as the 15-nation council considered a package of sanctions, including an arms embargo, a travel ban and an asset freeze on Gaddafi and his associates.

Shalgam’s missive appeared calculated to overcome resistance to an international criminal investigation, particularly from China, Russia and India, which have expressed concern that an investigation could inflame, rather than calm, the situation on the ground.

After Shalgam’s appeal, Russia and India agreed to support the provision authorizing an investigation. China, whose delegation requested time to seek instruction from Beijing, was the only holdout. It ultimately reversed its position and backed the vote, citing broad African and Arab support for the initiative.

The resolution imposed a travel ban on Gaddafi and 15 relatives and loyalists. Six of those individuals, including Gaddafi himself and his immediate family members, are also subject to a freeze of their assets.

In addition, the resolution calls on Libya to respect press freedom and to permit the entry of relief workers, medical supplies and other humanitarian assistance. It also urges Libya “to ensure the safety of all foreign nationals and facilitate the departure of those wishing to leave the country.”

The arms embargo is designed to prevent Gaddafi from resupplying loyalist forces, including thousands of African mercenaries.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vitaly I. Churkin, secured a provision precluding the United States and European powers from using the resolution as a pretext for military intervention in Libya.

The original text of the resolution, drafted by Britain, included broad language authorizing states “to adopt all measures necessary” to enable the delivery of humanitarian assistance. European diplomats said the language was not intended as a legal basis for a military invasion of Libya.

  1. #1 by -e- on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 5:02 pm


  2. #2 by Taxidriver on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 5:07 pm


  3. #3 by Taxidriver on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 5:29 pm

    Najib and racist unmoputras better not do a ‘Gaddifi’ should they be swept out in the 13th GE. Make sure there will not be even one ”crushed body” or foreign countries will freeze your billions which you all plundered over a period of 54 years. Bow out gracefully and take the next plane out of Malaysia. But I cannot guarantee the Melayu tulen who are mostly poor will allow you to leave lol.

    Mahathir, have you planned for your family members yet? The risk of you being being beaten to death with sticks is great because you are not melayu. Don’t say I didn’t warn you ar.

  4. #4 by limkamput on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 10:42 pm

    Now we are talking, it is as if the world does not know this farting idiot has been abusing and bullying his people for decades. Why only now, why only after ordinary people have to suffer and die before the world acts. Switzerland continues to maintain secret bank accounts of thousands of world corrupted leaders. No complaints or investigation were ever made unless of course after the leaders concerned have lost power. The West, if you fellows have any moral decency left, you can shaft it in your posteriors. Ultimately it is always the ordinary people who have to suffer and pay the price. For what may I ask? To install another equally corrupted, hapless and cruel regime.

  5. #5 by Loh on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 10:50 pm

    Without oil resources Gaddafi would not have survived even for one year after taking over power. Oil sustained Middle East countries to remain what it is. Oil resources sustained Malaysia too with its NEP. Is oil curse in disguise?

  6. #6 by pulau_sibu on Sunday, 27 February 2011 - 11:48 pm

    I still remembered what Reagan said about him as the ‘mad dog of the middle east.’

  7. #7 by monsterball on Monday, 28 February 2011 - 12:13 am

    It will be interesting to hear Najib’s comment.
    That racist idiot..the CM of Melaka has said…no UMNO B no development.
    It is about corruptions and dictatorship..which Najib tried to fool Muslim leaders by saying Democracy also failed in certain countries…as if we do not know.
    Look at how these crooks try so hard to bring voters away from the real issues.

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Monday, 28 February 2011 - 12:45 am

    As if calling him ‘mad dog of the middle east’ was not enough Reagan got his F16s to send a guided missile, a smart bomb, into Gaddafi’s tent Gaddafi’s tent ! He survived because he was not there.

    Gaddafi is doomed not just because he is despot – there are many despots kept harmless – it is because the guy’s, like Reagan said, a mad dog. He has no friends amongst world leaders. Only 1 (Turkey’s Erdogan) spoke against UN sanctions saying they might harm Libyan people. This is not so because the sanction is landmark of sorts being specific targeted at freezing his & family’s assets, travel ban on 10 members of regime closest to him, ban weapons sale.
    No world leaders will back him. How could they when he sent his tanks, helicopters and warplanes to fire on his own unarmed people???

    The UN really give it to him properly this time. In 2009 he made his debut speech in General Assembly. He got someone to introduce him as “great leader of Revolution, President of African Union, King of Kings of Africa” and then bored everyone to sleep with a long winded rambling speech of 1 hour & 36 mins when his time slot was supposedly only 15 mins. Some more he patronizingly and repeatedly referred to Obama as “my son”!

    Its his erratic nature that scares people. Always sleep no higher than 1st floor, could not climb stairs of more than 35 steps or stand flight longer than 6 hours, he’s only leader with a retinue of female body guards & an Ukrainian nurse. Worse still he has nuclear ambitions. He scares the hell out of US even when he tells them he’s against Wahhibism and is an ally against War on terror!

    Al Jazeera keeps reporting how he is a terror in his own right. For the first time UN security council is 15-0 against him. Even Russia & China (the permanent veto wielding Security Council members) voted against him. The landmark vote saw the United States support referring a crisis case to the International Criminal Court for the first time.

    Cracks appear even amongst his administration members. Some ambassadors resigned (including that one in KL. His justice minister resigned & a group of army officers urged soldiers to “join the people”.

    If he were not that personally crazy it would be slower for US to galvanise international support against him.

  9. #9 by Thor on Monday, 28 February 2011 - 12:56 am

    Should impose sanction on these Umno buggers here as well.
    For using police force to intimidate the people.

  10. #10 by waterfrontcoolie on Monday, 28 February 2011 - 7:22 am

    Well, limkamput if the people ‘enjoy’ all the crookish acts happily, how could UN morally interfere with the so-called sovereignty of the nation? Now that the people have shown that they didnot want that leadership any more. Then UN has the ‘right’ to act accordingly. To me, it is a vast improvement over the past 30 years or so. If indeed the WEST wants to act just like they threaten against Gaddafi and Family and Cronies; it is a wondeful start. It is a precedent after all the crookish politicians around the world can only keep their monies either in a few EU countries or the US. Let see where else they can hide their loots! It is a awakening, though US will still hide the fortunes of those crooks who listen to their tune. We all know for one tha some of ours may not get that shelter because of their outbursts against them when they wanted to gather national supports! Let us all wait for Heaven to open up!!

  11. #11 by dagen on Monday, 28 February 2011 - 9:13 am

    cintanegara would say, it is ok if ordinary libyans wanted to be killed and tortured by their much loved leader.

    It is also ok for their much loved leader and his cronies to suck the country off billions and billions and hand out to ordinary libyans rambutans only, as long as that was enough to please them. (BTW, Cintanegara is quite pleased with those rambutans-jenis-umno.)

  12. #12 by undertaker888 on Monday, 28 February 2011 - 9:46 am

    let’s wipe out the moboraks, gaddafis and ben alis of malaysia. those tyrants, racists and pompous hypocrites. here are some examples…

    mamak gaddafi
    ibrahim ben ali
    najib mobarak

  13. #13 by dagen on Monday, 28 February 2011 - 11:41 am

    mamak gaddafi and najib mobarak?

    But who promised us that there will “crushed bodies” and “lost lives” recently and uttered “soak this (keris) in chinese blood” sometime ago?

    He-who-has-tower-power of course. He-who-has-tower-power is not going to leave like mubarak. He-who-has-tower-power will kick and punch and crush some bodies and rob some lives before leaving. He-who-has-tower-power will be the gaddafi of malaysia. Not mamak!

    Lets hope no rambutans got squashed in the process.

  14. #14 by k1980 on Monday, 28 February 2011 - 1:16 pm

    //Lets hope no rambutans got squashed in the process.//

    How about last week’s snatch thief whose motorbike was rammed by his victim’s car, causing him to crash into the drain and severing his rambutan tree trunk in the process? All for a few ringgit in the handbag.

  15. #15 by cemerlang on Monday, 28 February 2011 - 8:26 pm

    Dictator. Lockerbie. Osama ben Laden. What other issues ?

  16. #16 by monsterball on Monday, 28 February 2011 - 9:09 pm

    Mamak…Onion face..can cry easily with no shame.
    Ibrahim…Coconut…talk alot ..no actions.
    Najib……Watermelon…brain is filled with water and evil black seeds. No brain…need lots of coaching and speech writers. Leave him alone…finito.
    What do you expect from these self decorated titles of Tun and Tan Sri?

  17. #17 by monsterball on Tuesday, 1 March 2011 - 4:44 am

    Undertaker 28th 913am description of the three crooks is a masterpiece.
    He compared them well with evil leaders.

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