Libyan Interim Leadership Rejects UN Peacekeeping Forces

World | August 31, 2011, Wednesday // 10:01|  views

Libya's NTC reject the presence UN observers and peacekeepers on the grounds the people of Libya are defending themselves against the dictatorship. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The opposition Libyan Transitional National Council (NTC) has rejected the idea of deploying any kind of international military and/or peacekeeping force.

The news was reported by BBC Wednesday, citing the UN envoy to the country, Ian Martin, who said his organization had considered the deployment of military observers.

"We don't now expect military observers to be requested. It's very clear that the Libyans want to avoid any kind of military deployment of the UN or others," he said after a meeting of the UN Security Council.

Martin pointed out that one of the greatest challenges for the UN would be helping the country prepare for democratic elections.

"Let's remember... there's essentially no living memory of elections, there's no electoral machinery, there's no electoral commission, no history of political parties, no independent civil society, independent media are only beginning to emerge in the east in recent times. That's going to be quite a challenge, sort of organizationally, and it's clear that the NTC wish the UN to play a major role in that process," the envoy stressed

In addition, Libya's deputy representative to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi, told the BBC that the situation in Libya was unique.

"They [the UN] put the possibility of deploying peacekeepers on the ground but in fact the Libyan crisis is a special case. It is not a civil war, it is not a conflict between two parties, it is the people who are defending themselves against the dictatorship," he said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has further stated that growing humanitarian shortages in Libya demand urgent action and appealed to the Security Council to be "responsive" to requests from the transitional authority for funding.

Though stockpiles of medical supplies and food stashed away by the government were found over the weekend, water supplies are short.

Meanwhile, fighters loyal to NTC approached the pro-Gaddafi stronghold of Sirte from east and west. The town's defenders have been given until Saturday to surrender.

Moussa Ibrahim, spokesman of fugitive ex-leader of Libya, dictator, Muammar Gaddafi's, rejected the ultimatum, pointing out that "no dignified, honorable nation would accept an ultimatum from armed gangs." He reiterated Gaddafi's offer to send his son Saadi to negotiate with rebels and form a transitional government.

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Tags: Muammar Gaddafi, Tripoli, Libya, rebels, commandos, Sirte, UN, Security Council, NTC, frozen assets, Ian Martin, observers, peacekeeping, peacekeepers, Ban Ki-moon, Ibrahim Dabbashi, Moussa Ibrahim


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