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March 1, 2011: Libya

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On Libya, France Says Weapons Drops Permitted, S. Africa Says They Proliferate

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 27 -- After the UN Security Council put a formal October 31 end to NATO's Resolution 1973 mandate in Libya on Wednesday morning, the Permanent Representatives of Russia, France, the UK, South Africa and the US spoke to the Press.

  Russia's Vitaly Churkin, who on October 26 told Inner City Press that reports of Qatar having boots on the ground in Libya during the conflict would be another violation of Resolution 1973, now took a more forward looking approach, saying he hoped Council members had learned their lesson.

  Inner City Press asked France's Gerard Araud about his country's weapons drops into the Nafusa Mountains. Araud asserted that Operative Paragraph 4 of Resolution 1973 allowed for the dropping of weapons. The rest, he said, should be left to the historians.

  But when South Africa's Baso Sangqu said some had gone "far beyond" Resolution 1973, Inner City Press asked him about Araud's statement. Sangqu replied that these air dropped weapons were now proliferating.

  Inner City Press asked UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant about recent moves by the TNC toward shariah. He replied that there are a variety of political actors in Libya and it is up to them.

  Just as Inner City Press asked Ian "The Brit" Martin, it asked Lyall Grant: what about moves to strip the citizenship of sub Saharan African who were given it under Gaddafi? Lyall Grant said that it is too early to get into that level of detail.

(c) MRLee
Amb's Ogwu, Rice & Sangqu, permissibility of weapon drops not shown

US Ambassador Susan Rice, after saying the the votes against the draft resolution on Syria had nothing to do with how the Libya resolutions were implemented, took four questions. Inner City Press asked about the weapons drops. Ambassador Rice said the US didn't drop weapons, but that Resolution 1973 didn't "preclude" it. Some call this provide ground cover for the French.

  On proliferation, as alleged by Sangqu, Rice replied only in terms of Gaddafi's arsenal. What about small arms and light weapons?

Footnote: Inner City Press had wanted to ask Ambassador Rice a question about Yemen, the immunity provisions of the Gulf Cooperation Council iniative and the US' role in them, but time did not allow. We will have more on this.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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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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