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UN slaps sanctions, refers case to international court

The UN Security Council on Saturday referred the Libyan protests and the regime's response to the International Criminal Court and also named Muammar Gaddafi's family and loyalists for targeted sanctions. Yashwant Raj reports.

world Updated: Feb 28, 2011 00:24 IST
Yashwant Raj

The UN Security Council on Saturday referred the Libyan protests and the regime's response to the International Criminal Court and also named Muammar Gaddafi's family and loyalists for targeted sanctions.

The ICC will investigate all allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide and report to the Security Council regularly. The Court, which was established in 1998, has Darfur among its ongoing cases.

Though the vote was unanimous in the end with all 15 members voting for it, differences had emerged during the discussions, with the US, UK, France and Germany pushing for the referral full tilt.

India was among those who differed, with China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa. "We would have preferred a calibrated and gradual approach," India's permanent representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said during the SC discussion.

India was being careful, officials said, as thousands of Indians were still in Libya awaiting evacuation. The US and the UK could afford to press for sterner measures as they had finished their evacuation process.

The UN sanctions apply to Gaddafi himself, his family and loyalists who all have been named. Gaddafi and his family will have their assets frozen by member nations, which will be made available to the people of Libya at some future date.

The US froze the family's assets on Thursday soon after its citizens had been evacuated. And it also announced shutting down its embassy in Tripoli temporarily. The UK and France shut down their missions on Saturday.

The UNSC sanctions go a little further though, adding a travel ban to the list of prohibitions. In all, 16 Libyans — Gaddafi, his family and loyalists - will not be allowed in by UN's member states.

The Security Council resolution also prevents the sale of defence equipment of all kinds —from weapons, to ammunition to protective gear to Libya.