UN imposes no-fly zone over Libya, India abstains
The UN Security Council imposed a no-fly zone over Libya with immediate effect Thursday to prevent the Gaddafi regime from using the air space to attack protestors. Five member countries including India abstained. Yashwant Raj reports.world Updated: Mar 18, 2011 11:27 IST
The UN Security Council imposed a no-fly zone over Libya with immediate effect Thursday to prevent the Gaddafi regime from using the air space to attack protestors. Five member countries including India abstained.
The resolution came within hours of the Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi threatening a no-holds-barred attack on the rebel-held city of Benghazi in a national broadcast: “We are coming and there will be no mercy”.
The broadcast sealed the case against him in the council.
And he might have got the message too: The attack against Benghazi had not happened till early Friday morning. The crowd of protestors stayed up waiting for it, defiant in its belief in the cause and its victory.
The UNSC resolution imposes a no-fly zone over Libya, freezes assets owned by the Gaddafi family, its close circle of high ranking officials and supporters, and those of the country’s central bank and the main oil company.
But the resolution clearly ruled out any armed intervention on Libyan soil. Member states were authorised to “to take all necessary measures ... while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.”
That would not be all. India had reservations.
There were reports – unconfirmed reports of India and China abstaining because they wanted to cut a deal with Libya in order to get their nationals back in Libya ta the earliest. Indian officials said that theory was too ridiculous to consider.
But it had reservations about the resolution, but not enough to vote against it. It abstained, along with four other countries – Brazil, Russia, China (the BRIC group), and Germany (which is a G4 country with India, Brazil and Japan).
The resolution, drafted by France, needed nine votes to go through. And it did. Three of the five permanent members – the US, France and Britain – voted it for it, with six non-permanent members.
A veto from a permanent member would have killed the resolution.
The five abstaining countries consulted among themselves and arrived at the same conclusion separately. They were not accidental partners, they insisted. “We consulted among,” said a delegate from one of these nations.
India listed three reasons for abstaining.
The council could have waited for a report from the representative appointed by the Secretary General on the situation on the ground. “This would have given us an objective analysis,” India said in its dissent submission.
India said the resolution doesn’t say who will enforce the ban and how. “It is, of course, very important that there is full respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Libya.”
The financial restrictions are indiscriminately crippling and may affect adversely the lives of common people.