It takes a nation to protect the nation
02 March 2011 [WorldJewishCongress dot org]
The General Assembly (GA) of the United Nations has voted unanimously to suspend Libya from the UN Human Rights Council. The GA resolution accused Libya of committing gross and systematic violations of human rights. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the assembly: "These UN actions send a strong and important message […] that there is no impunity, that those who commit crimes against humanity will be punished, that fundamental principles of justice and accountability shall prevail." The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, pointed out: "People who turn their guns on their own people have no place on the Human Rights Council."
On Saturday, the UN Security Council had voted unanimously to impose sanctions on the regime Muammar al-Gaddafi over its excessive use of force in dealing with the civil rebellion. The council voted for an arms embargo, asset freeze, and for referring the Libyan dictator to the International Criminal Court, for crimes against humanity.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday called on the West to impose on Iran the same tough measures it is putting in place against Gaddafi. "If the international community is applying special pressure on Libya and warning its leader and soldiers against violating civil rights, the same warning must be aimed at Iran's leaders and their henchmen," Netanyahu said. Both countries were "serial violators of human rights." He added: "At the same time as Gaddafi is massacring his opponents in Libya, the regime of the ayatollahs in Iran is systematically executing its opponents."
Meanwhile, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has warned that the situation at the Libya-Tunisia border was reaching a "crisis point" because of the high number of people trying to escape the country. According to the UN, over 70,000 people have fled the violence in Libya since the protests against leader Muammar Gaddafi began on 20 February.
Gambian President hits out at African Union over Gaddafi protests
Leader says the union's lack of action against brutal responses to protests is unacceptable
BY: Melissa Rudd | Sat Feb 26, 2011
TAGS: African Union, Gambia, Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, North Africa, revolts, Yahya Jammeh
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has criticised the AU
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has hit out at the African Union for its "unacceptable silence" on the violent responses to revolts in North African nations and urged Libya's Moammar Gaddafi to step down immediately.
"It is a shocking reality that in all the happenings, beginning with the crisis in Tunisia, to that in Egypt, and now Libya and countries in North Africa, the leadership of the African Union (AU) neither made a statement nor took action despite the fact that these were uprisings affecting member states," said Jammeh's statement read on national television.
The Gambian government said the African Union should have at least discussed how to avoid brutality. Instead, the Gambians said, the lead has been taken by non-African countries.
"The AU should not and cannot play second fiddle in situations as we now see them happening on the continent," Jammeh's statement said.
"If the AU cannot stop the carnage taking place in some of its member states, then it cannot be in a position to bring a continental government capable of lifting Africa out of abject poverty and under-development. Whether Black or Arab Africa, we are all Africans without discrimination."
A statement from the chairman of the AU's commission Wednesday condemned the "disproportionate use of force against civilians" in Libya and deplored "the many human lives lost so far."
"The chairperson of the Commission reiterates the appeal made by the (African Union) Peace and Security Council for an immediate end of the repression and violence," said the statement from Jean Ping.
"He stresses that only dialogue and consultation will enable the Libyans to find appropriate solutions to the challenges facing their country and to embark upon the necessary reforms to fulfill the aspirations of their people."
The Gambian president's statement, which also urged Gaddafi to resign, has come as a shock considering the relations between Libya and Gambia.