The UN is in no urgency to implement a no-fly zone on Libya


Although both the European Union and the Arab league stressed the need for a no-fly zone on Libya, the UN is still standing still concerning this particular subject.

Zainab Al.Dabbagh

On Wednesday, March 2nd, there was a warplane attack on Libyan rebels causing up to 6000 casualties reported Al-Masry Al-Yom, and Egyptian newspaper. MSNBC reported that the Libyan rebels are training to use anti aircraft weapons to stop the air attacks that ends lives upon lives of civilians and rebels in Libya. Those attacks went for three days in a row, which led the rebels to request a no-fly zone.

The EU and the UN as well as NATO started dealing with the Libyan affairs since the mid-February. They started with implementing sanctions and placing embargos on weapons. Nevertheless, those actions were a few of the many they said that they are willing to take, which led Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a French MEP, questioned the credibility of the plans of the EU saying, “Let’s be frank, for years we were in fact with the dictatorship, supporting Gaddafi because we had an agreement with him. Now we stopped talking to Gaddafi, Mazel tov, congratulations, but what else?”


All Talk and Finally Action

On March 9, 2011 a debate was held in the European Parliament discussing the current issue in Libya and the importance of imposing a no-fly zone. Opinions varied after Commissioner Catherine Ashton opened the session with the speech saying that immediate action needs to be taken. The priorities, for Commissioner Ashton, were; providing aid to the civilians in need, stopping the violence and the crimes against humanity. Another concern of Ashton was the expected number of refugees that might escape to the EU Mediterranean states. She stated: “ending the violence is a prerequisite to everything”. C            ohn-Bendit on the other hand disagreed with Ashton, supporting the possibility of the many refugees saying that Europe should stand to its own values.

Martin Schulz agreed with Ashton saying that in order to achieve peace in the region, there needs to be a marshal plan by the EU. He said, “If we really want to stabilize the Southern region, they should get what we already have”

Miguel Portas disagreed with the no-fly zone saying, “This is a general historical movement that will bring democracy to the Arab world”. He mentioned that in order for Libya to follow Tunisia and Egypt’s steps, it should create its own destiny and the EU should not Militarily interfere.

Bruno Gollnisch agreed with Portas adding that the EU should give Gaddafi another option. EU should offer Gaddafi the option of keeping his assets and moving to another country, maybe then he will step down and put an end to the violence in Libya, said Gollnisch.

Whereas, Charles Tannock stated blatantly that he disagrees with MEP Gollnisch and he is for the no-fly zone and for the military intervention for the EU has no other choice to end the crimes against humanity that are taking place in Libya.

In a press conference on the same day that received two of the former Libyan ministers; Dr. Mahmoud Jebril and Dr. Ali Al-Esawi, that altered sides. It was mentioned that Libya would prefer the EU to recognize the Libyan rebels as a legitimate government and refrain from any military interference.

The next day, on March 10th, 2011 a voting session was held to decide what action should the EU take concerning Libya. The majority voted for the no fly zone hence it has been adopted and recommended to the UN.

Requests for action

On Saturday, March 12th, 2011, the Arab League asked the “United Nations to shoulder its responsibility … to impose a no-fly zone over the movement of Libyan military planes and to create safe zones in the places vulnerable to air strikes.”

The UN nevertheless is prudent in approving and recommending the no-fly zone to NATO in fear that it will have to be drawn into the internal conflict of Libya. If the no-fly zone was implemented, there will be a necessarily to eradicate the anti-aircraft capabilities, reported the Associated Press.

Also, in the European Parliament debate about the issue, many expressed the need to implement the no-fly zone to stop the mascaras and regarded Gaddafi as a maniac and in denial. “He brings to mind a figure such as Saddam,” said Amr el-Shobaki, an Egyptian political analyst told the Associated Press.



Over to the UN

After the recommendation from the EU, the UN is still standing still and ignoring the stress of immediate action that is to be taken towards Gaddafi and Libya.

Imposing a no-fly zone over Libya is “perfectly deliverable” said the UK prime minister, David Cameron to the BBC. He emphasized the importance for the UN to take instantaneous action.

France and the UK are leading the movement of the no-fly zone amongst the EU member states, while other countries are being vigilant to the idea and the aftermath of imposing it, Reported CNN.

After the invasion of Iraq, bruised feelings at the U.N. also exist. This time, it is the United States that is taking a conscious advance while the Arab League is requesting immediate military action on one of its own suspended members.

Mr. Cameron reasoned that that the world has seen several uprising against dictator, and it would be a bad message if they were crushed, reported BBC.

So far there’s no urgency concerning the vote on the no-fly zone by the UN, which is causing controversy between different EU member states.

What Now?

Hillary Clinton, the secretary state of the United States of America said that executing a no-fly zone is a decision made by the UN and not by Washington. Clinton mentioned that the United States is not looking for another debacle like the one they faced in Iraq. She stated that the fact that the movement came from the people of Libya is very important, reported Al-Jazira.

As opinions differ, there are no specific measures in play at the moment, costing more lives of rebels and civilians in Libya. The humanitarian aid on the other hand is continuing its way through the Libyan boarders from many countries, including several EU member states.


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