Friday, April 15, 2011

Libya News Update: "United" Urges Halt to War; Russia Blast Imperialist Attacks

"Unite" urges halt to Libya war

Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:18PM

Britain's biggest union, Unite the Union, has urged the coalition governments of UK, France and the US to stop the air strikes on Libya since many civilians have been killed so far.

The union leaders issued a statement, insisting that the military interference of Western countries was a big mistake and should be immediately halted.

As holding no brief for the Libyan ruler and his regime, and strongly backing the actions that would result in the progress of democracy and freedom in the Middle East and North African countries, the union leaders expressed their concerns over the coalition countries' military involvement in Libya.

Describing the Libya move as a wrong action, the statement adds, “It risks killing Libyan civilians while doing nothing to end hostilities on the ground. In addition, it prolongs a civil conflict when what is needed is a ceasefire followed by mediation.”

They also stated that the coalition's military participation in the country would increase “the possibility of escalation leading to military occupation of all or part of Libya, when similar occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown how disastrous and counter-productive such interventions are. This could lead to a wider war in the region.”

The Military intervention over Libya has little or no Arab participation, and has been opposed by many countries including, Russia, China and India which left it “dependent on those western powers whose policies have aroused deep hostility throughout the Middle East.”

Unite the Union has urged the British government to give their foreign policy a second thought, halt the military operation and call for a “general ceasefire to be followed by international mediation."

Russia: NATO gone too far in Libya

Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:39PM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addressed a press conference on the second and last day of a NATO Foreign Ministers Meet in Berlin on April 15, 2011.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says NATO's military intervention in oil-rich Libya has gone far beyond the mandate authorized by the United Nations.

After talks with NATO counterparts in Berlin on Friday, Lavrov also called for an urgent shift towards a political and diplomatic settlement in Libya, AFP reported.

The remarks come as at least eight rebels have been killed in fresh shelling of the western city of Misratah by forces loyal to the Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

Heavy fighting continued around Misratah on Friday as Gaddafi loyalists fired dozens of rockets at the coastal city.

On Thursday, NATO member states rejected a call by France and Britain to step up attacks on Libya, widening the rift in the Western military alliance over the strategy in the North African country.

Thousands of civilians have been killed since Western warplanes began their air assaults on Libya last month under a UN no-fly zone mandate.

Tory MP: Recall Commons over Libya

Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:23PM

A Tory MP says the parliament should be recalled since UK Prime Minister David Cameron's latest remarks mark a change in Britain's “original mission” in Libya.

In a joint letter published on Friday, UK, US and French leaders claimed that NATO and other coalition countries must keep the military intervention over Libya to force the Libyan ruler to step down from power.

John Baron, the conservative MP who has been against Britain's military involvement in Libya, urged the UK parliament to take action against the country's participation in the Libya war since the joint letter of Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama indicate a change in Libya mission.

“I believe that Parliament should be recalled. This statement is a clear alteration to the original mission that would justify recall,” he said.

He argued that the military intervention was proposed as a humanitarian operation to save the lives of the Libyan civilians, but "clearly that is no longer the case."

"If you were being charitable you could say this was an example of mission creep. If you were being uncharitable [you] could say it was an ulterior motive," he added.

Britain in breach of Libya UN resolution

Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:8PM

The British government is to supply the Libyan rebels forces with 1,000 sets of body armor, Downing Street confirmed.

According to Downing Street's statement, the body armors are planned to help the rebels forces defend “themselves and their communities against regime forces that attack civilians.”

The British National Security Council has earlier provided the Libyan revolutionary forces with 'non-lethal military equipment', including 100 satellite phones.

The news comes amid the international conference in Qatar regarding the war in Libya, where Britain urged other NATO members to enhance more ground attacks in the country.

British foreign secretary William Hague joined French foreign minister Alain Juppe in pressuring the members of NATO to increase their military operations against the Libyan ruler, Muammar Gaddafi.

Hague claimed that the burden of the air strikes have been carried by Britain and France.

French foreign minister believed that NATO was not taking enough actions, and the US military power is required to make certain the mission's success. Saying: “NATO must not relax military pressure. Its military actions should be adapted.”

In a visit to the French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday, British Prime Minister said that Britain and France were playing the key roles among the coalition countries.

“With President Sarkozy I am going to be sitting down to make sure that we leave no stone unturned in doing everything we can militarily, diplomatically, politically to enforce the UN resolution, to put real pressure on Gaddafi, and to stop the appalling murder of civilians.”

Meanwhile, the Libyan rebel forces have criticized the US-led forces for their failure to prevent the killing of civilians by Gaddafi troops.

Many civilians have reportedly been killed since the US-led coalition unleashed a major air campaign against regime forces on March 19 under a UN mandate to protect the Libyan population.

Meanwhile, the US-led forces have admitted to killing rebel forces and civilians in a fresh airstrike in eastern Libya.

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