Friday, March 18, 2011

United Nations Resolution: Key Point, Will It Work?

Now that the United Nations Security Council has agreed on sanctions against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi it is up to the world community to enforce these demands.

As of now it does not appear that Gaddafi has any intention of submitting to the sanctions even though Libya is a member of the U.N.  There are reports of ongoing bombing and civilian deaths at the hands of forces loyal to Col. Gaddafi.

In order for Libya to comply with the U.N. Security Council resolution they must do the following as reported by Al Jazeera:

These are the key points:
  • Demands "the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians".
  • Demands that Libyan authorities "take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance".
  • Authorises UN member states "to take all necessary measures ... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory".
  • Decides "to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians", but says humanitarian flights and flights authorised by the UN and Arab League can take place.
  • Strengthens the arms embargo imposed on February 26 by calling on UN member states "to inspect in their territory, including airports and seaports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from" Libya if the country has information with "reasonable grounds" to believe the cargo contains banned military items, or that armed mercenaries are being transported.
  • Orders all states to prevent any Libyan owned, operated, or registered aircraft - or any aircraft believed to be carrying prohibited weapons or mercenaries - to take off, land or overfly their territory without prior approval from the UN committee monitoring sanctions.
  • Adds travel bans on the Libyan ambassador to Chad and the governor of Ghat, both directly involved in recruiting mercenaries for the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
  • Extends an asset freeze to seven more individuals including three additional Gaddafi children, the defence minister, the director of military intelligence, the director of the external security organisation, and the secretary for utilities.
  • Freezes the assets of five key financial institutions: the Central Bank, the Libyan Investment Authority, the Libyan Foreign Bank, Libyan Africa Investment Portfoilio, and the Libyan National Oil Corporation.
  • Asks Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to establish an eight-member panel of experts to help the UN sanctions committee monitor implementation of sanctions against Libya.
The question that remains to be answered is whether the rest of the world is willing to enforce these sanctions if Col. Gaddafi refuses to comply.  The U.S. and Brittan can't win no matter what they do.  If they partake in a military response to this crisis there will be those in the Islamic world that will see them as invaders or at the least intruders in a sovereign country.  The best case scenario would be to have the Arab League take the lead in any subsequent action, but it is likely that this won't happen.

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