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UN Council to ease Libya sanctions

2011-09-16 07:52

New York - Britain officially registered a resolution to ease Libya assets and arms sanctions at the UN Security Council and expects a vote on Friday, diplomats said.

The resolution would set up a UN mission to help Libya's interim government hold elections and write a new post-Muammar Gaddafi constitution.

Following talks among the 15 council members, provisions were added to the original draft, putting more stress on human rights, the need to involve women in decision-making and to protect African migrants who have been attacked.

"There is a lot of agreement now on the draft. Everyone agrees that the Security Council has to do something quickly for the people of Libya," a western diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The final resolution, obtained by AFP, welcomes the "improved situation" in Libya and highlights the council's determination to make sure that tens of billions of dollars of assets frozen by the Security Council in February and March "shall as soon as possible be made available to and for the benefit of the people of Libya."

The resolution would lift asset freezes and other measures against Libyan National Oil Corporation and Zueitina Oil Company, and ease sanctions against the central bank, Libyan Arab Foreign Bank, Libyan Investment Authority and Libyan African Africa Investment Portfolio.

Measures against the long-time Libyan strongman, the Gaddafi family and Gaddafi’s associates are maintained. The former Libyan leader, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, is now on the run.

Peace and security

The Security Council would express concern at the "proliferation of arms in Libya and its potential impact on regional peace and security".

But the resolution would allow arms supplies and technical assistance to Libya's transitional government for the security of the authorities and for the protection of UN personnel, media and aid workers in the country.

The UN Support Mission in Libya, UNSMIL, would be set up for an initial three months to help in what diplomats insist is essentially a political operation.

It would give advice on restoring security but would concentrate on efforts to "undertake inclusive political dialogue, promote national reconciliation and embark upon the constitution-making and electoral process."

The Security Council would maintain a no-fly zone over but ends an order to all states to deny permission for Libyan aircraft to land, which could help the national airline resume operations.

Council members China, Russia, South Africa, Brazil and India have condemned the Nato airstrikes carried out against Gaddafi targets after protests against his rule erupted in February.

China and Russia, as permanent members of the council, could veto the resolution. But diplomats from the two nations indicated they support the resolution.

Women


Some international concerns have been raised about how conservative the Islamic rule of the transitional council will be. The resolution "emphasises the importance of promoting the equal and full participation of women and minority communities" in political discussions.

Following pressure from African states, the Security Council condemns human rights violations and the killings and detention "of African migrants and members of minority communities".

The transitional government is likely to get a second boost on Friday as the UN General Assembly is to vote to give it Libya's UN seat.

The UN credentials committee accepted the interim government's application to take over from Gaddafi, but Venezuela and other radical Latin American governments want a full General Assembly vote.

Diplomats said the new government would get overwhelming support, allowing interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil to speak at next week's UN General Assembly.