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Is the Coalition Pushing for a New UN SC Resolution on Libya?

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm

NATO and coalition leaders are still struggling to settle on whether or not a new UN SC resolution is necessary to lawfully oust the Qaddafi regime. This week several statements have been made by coalition leaders taking a far more explicit stance in supporting ‘regime change’ in Libya.

However, certain coalition leaders recognize that taking further steps  to remove Qaddafi may exceed the limits imposed by UN Res. 1973. French leaders have indicated that it might be necessary to pass a new resolution that would authorize a clearer mandate for Qaddafi’s removal.

According to a BBC report, The French Defense minister “conceded that ousting Col Gaddafi would be “certainly” beyond the scope of the existing UN Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya, and could require a new council vote.”

Moreover, the Guardian reports that French and British officials are pushing “to hit more strategic military targets in Libya, beyond tactical airstrikes on Gaddafi’s armour in the vicinity of cities such as Misrata and Ajdabiya.” Coalition officials believe “it will prove more effective to destroy Libyan regime command and control centres than to arm the poorly-organised Benghazi-based rebels, as several other countries are demanding.”

At the same time calls are being made by British MPs and a former senior British military official to return to the UN for a new mandate allowing coalition forces to “arm and train” the rebels. A far less neutral UN mandate, however, will be nearly impossible to pass given the outspoken criticism and opposition to the NATO operations by Russian officials and other leaders from among the BRICS countries.

This week the leaders of the US, UK and France also published a joint op-ed attempting to clarify the coalition’s mission objectives in Libya. In regards to the coalition’s UN legal mandate the heads of State declared:

 “Our duty and our mandate under UN security council resolution 1973 is to protect civilians, and we are doing that. It is not to remove Gaddafi by force. But it is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Gaddafi in power.”

NATO, meanwhile, declared that it is not going to take sides in the current conflict in Libya. Its UN mandate, it stressed, is strictly neutral and primarily humanitarian. In other words, military assets are only being utilized to enforce the no fly zone and protect the civilian population of Libya.

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