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March 1, 2011: Libya

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At UN on Libya, NATO Members Might Stay On, Qatari Boast Panned

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 26 -- Ending NATO's mandate by October 31 may not mean as such as was thought. At the Security Council on Wednesday, even those pushing to limit NATO's mandate said that at the bilateral request of the Transitional National Council, military forces previously with NATO could stay in Libya.

  Meanwhile, Qatar's military chief of staff Maj. Gen. Hamad bin Ali al-Atiya was quoted bragging, "We were among them and the numbers of Qataris on ground were hundreds in every region."

  He went further: "Training and communications had been in Qatari hands. Qatar … supervised the rebels' plans because they are civilians and did not have enough military experience. We acted as the link between the rebels and NATO forces."

  Inner City Press asked Russian Ambasador Vitaly Churkin about it. "It would be another violation of Resolution 1973," Churkin said.

  The chairman of the Libya Sanctions Committee, Portuguese Ambassador Cabral, agreed but said he had not received any formal complaint about it, and that he has no mandate to act on a media report quoting a Qatari official. Things seem to end with a whimper rather than a bang.

  A Permanent Representative on the Council told Inner City Press that Qatar's bragging "is outrageous," reflective of Qatar's "billion dollar foreign policy."

   A different Permanent Representative, South African's Baso Sangqu, later told Inner City Press that such open violations of Security Council resolutions "cripple international law."

(c) UN Photo
Ban Ki-moon & Gaddafi 2007: nobody loves you when you're down and out?

  In the morning UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant told Inner City Press there have already been two letters from the National Transitional Council.

  After the NTC's Ibrahim Dabbashi spoke, a reporter asked French Ambassador Gerard Araud if what Dabbashi said might mean allowing NATO's mandate to run past October 31. "Good question," Araud said, citing a meeting of the North Atlantic Council on Friday. Watch this site.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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