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Update on the situation in Libya

On 28 February the EU imposed sanctions against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, implementing resolution 1970 (2011) adopted by the UN’s Security Council on 26 February and imposing additional EU measures. The sanctions include an embargo on arms, ammunition and equipment that could be used for the repression of protesters; an assets freeze; and a visa ban on Colonel Gaddafi, members of his family and other persons involved in the violent crackdown on the civilian population.

 

In the last days France has gone a step further by recognizing the Libyan opposition movement and expressing its readiness to intervene; a move which has caught other EU countries a little bit by surprise.

 

The Arab League is meeting today to decide on the situation in Libya and among other potential measures their support for imposing a no-fly zone over Libya. No Libyan representatives can attend the meeting based on the decision of the Arab League on March 2 to suspend Libya from meetings. Foreign ministers and representatives of the 22-member organization will discuss the latest developments of the situation in Libya and possible ways to end the bloodshed.

 

The fighting in the country continues and the humanitarian situation at the borders is rather critical. The main question which this situation raises is: what about the responsibility to protect the civilian population from war crimes? While the Security Council recalled in its resolution the Libyan authorities’ responsibility to protect its population, it remains to be seen how the international community will discharge its part of that responsibility.


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