Friday, March 18, 2011

At UN, As Libyan Resolution Passes With Five Abstentions, Half Answers by Lebanon & Dabbashi, Rice Chats with Sudan

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 17 -- The Libya resolutionpassed the UN Security Council Thursday evening with ten votes in favor and five abstaining: Russia, China, Brazil, Germany and India.

Russia said that its ceasefire proposal had the support of “a number of (Council) members,” and that its questions on the resolution just adopted remained unanswered. What are the limits of the use of force? He said if things go badly, it will be the responsibility of those who use force.

Brazil's Permanent Representative said her country is sensitive to the call of the Arab League for a no fly zone, but that the resolution in Paragraph 4 went beyond it.

Germany's Permanent Representative Wittig also said that military force carries risks that have been under estimated.

India through its Deputy Permanent Representative criticized the whole resolution, saying the Council should have waited for the report of Ban Ki-moon's envoy Al Khatib, and that sanctions may hurt the Libyan people.

After the vote, Inner City Press asked Libyan diplomat Ibrahim Dabbashi to respond to India's statement about the sanctions hurting Libyans. Dabbashi's response was only that the resolution does not allow foreign occupation.

Inner City Press asked Dabbashi about the possibility at some point of UN peacekeeping mission. No, Dabbashi that, not that. He said it's the Libyan people against Gadhafi.

Lebanon's Permanent Representative took questions, and Inner City Press asked him about the critique of some of the abstainers that the resolution went beyond what the Arab League has asked for. He replied that the Arab League only spoke about a no fly zone. Exactly.

Susan Rice took a few questions then it was “last question.” Since she had said Gadhafi had lost legitimacy by attacking his own people, Inner City Press asked, “What about Bahrain... and the crackdowns there?” These have included attacks on hospitals, blatant violations of international law. But Susn Rice was gone.

Footnote: Before she spoke at the stakeout, Susan Rice was speaking with a Sudanese diplomat from Khartoum. Inner City Press is seeking the US read out on the communication, and what the US is going to do, especially at the UN, about the stand off between SPLM and Khartoum on the reports of Khartoum aiding the two renegade generals in and around South Sudan, and on the crackdown on student protesters in Darfur that even UNAMID reported on earlier today. Watch this site.

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