The United Nations opts for force instead of negotiation
|Security Council approves use of force in Libya on March 17, 2011|
Late Thursday afternoon, the U.N. Security Council, under the presidency of China for this period, met and approved a resolution that authorizes a no-fly zone over Libya. The vote was 10 in favour, 5 abstentions and no votes against.
The United States, Britain and France had pushed for a fast approval of this resolution, facing the imminent fall of Benghazi that puts an end to the successful campaign Gaddafi has conducted against the opposition forces.
Although the resolution itself forbids the establishment of an occupation force, U.S. Secretary of State Clinton said yesterday that a U.N. no-fly zone over Libya “requires certain actions taken to protect the planes and pilots, including bombing targets like the Libyan defense systems.”
The resolution also authorizes the member states to enforce the arms embargo against Libya by interdicting ships on the high seas.
Gaddafi’s Defense minister, for his part warned of swift retaliation if the U.N. passed a resolution allowing military action. In a statement made public, he said that “any foreign military act against Libya will expose all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea to danger and civilian and military (facilities) will become targets of Libya counter attack.”
The Chinese government said on Friday that it “had serious reservations” over the U.N. resolution. China, together with India, Russia, Brazil and Germany, abstained from voting. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said in a statement that China “opposes the use of force in international relations.”
|Chinese permanent representative Li Baodong abstains|
Since foreign powers have taken side in Libya’s civil war, the conflict is likely to escalate into international proportions, destabilizing a region that is already a boiling pot full of magma.
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