UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council was today divided on imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, even though the Arab League has urgently called for the measure after the Libyan Leader, Mr Muammar Gaddafi’s advancing army regained control of some rebel-held towns.
“We would like the Council to act as swiftly as possible and we would like a consensus on the no-fly zone,” said Mr Nawaf Salam, Lebanon’s envoy to the UN, who requested the Council meeting on the matter.
“I’m not sure whether there will be (a resolution) we’re going to work hard for a resolution,” he said. “We think it’s not only a legitimate request but necessary measure to be taken to stop the violence.”
Britain and France are preparing a draft resolution on a potential no-fly zone but other countries in the Council are still not completely on board.
Mr Nawaf said that “implementation” will be addressed in the draft resolution.
India, a non-permanent member, has previously raised questions about what will be the objective of such a no-fly zone and where will assets to execute it come from. Last month, the Security Council adopted a resolution slapping sanctions on the Libyan regime, which included a complete arms embargo, an asset freeze and a travel ban on Gaddafi and his loyalists, and a referral to the Hague-based International Criminal Court.
The resolution, however, has not deterred the Libyan strongman from his agenda of consolidating power by using violence. Foreign minister of the G8 countries also discussed the issue of the no-fly zone at their meeting in Paris.
Responding to a question, Mr Nawaf said it was hard to say whether a no-fly zone would be effective.
Recalling the situation in Bosnia during the mid-nineties, he said, “Inspite of no fly zone, the worst massacres took place… This does not mean that the no-fly zone was useless but it was not enough.”