As Libyan Resolution Passes With Five Abstentions, Half Answers by
Lebanon & Dabbashi, Rice Chats with Sudan
March 17 -- The Libya
resolution passed the UN Security
Council Thursday evening with ten votes in favor and five abstaining:
Russia, China, Brazil, Germany and India.
its ceasefire proposal had the support of “a number of (Council)
members,” and that its questions on the resolution just adopted
remained unanswered. What are the limits of the use of force? He
said if things go badly, it will be the responsibility of those who
Representative said her country is sensitive to the call of the Arab
League for a no fly zone, but that the resolution in Paragraph 4 went
Representative Wittig also said that military force carries
risks that have been under estimated.
Deputy Permanent Representative criticized the whole resolution,
saying the Council should have waited for the report of Ban Ki-moon's
envoy Al Khatib, and that sanctions may hurt the Libyan people.
Inner City Press asked Libyan diplomat Ibrahim Dabbashi to respond to
India's statement about the sanctions hurting Libyans. Dabbashi's
response was only that the resolution does not allow foreign
asked Dabbashi about the possibility at some point of UN
peacekeeping mission. No, Dabbashi that, not that. He said it's the
Libyan people against Gadhafi.
Representative took questions, and Inner City Press asked
him about the critique of some of the abstainers that the resolution
went beyond what the Arab League has asked for. He replied that the
Arab League only spoke about a no fly zone. Exactly.
Rice took a
few questions then it was “last question.” Since she had said
Gadhafi had lost legitimacy by attacking his own people, Inner City
Press asked, “What about Bahrain... and the crackdowns there?” These
have included attacks on hospitals, blatant violations of international
law. But Susn Rice was gone.
she spoke at the stakeout, Susan Rice was speaking with a
Sudanese diplomat from Khartoum. Inner City Press is seeking the US
read out on the communication, and what the US is going to do,
especially at the UN, about the stand off between SPLM and Khartoum
on the reports of Khartoum aiding the two renegade generals in and
around South Sudan, and on the crackdown on student protesters in
Darfur that even UNAMID reported on earlier today. Watch this site.
* * *
“No Question to Have People on Ground in Libya,”
a Draft Online
17 -- Hours before the Libya
resolution vote of the
UN Security Council, French foreign minister Alain Juppe arrived to
speak to the media. Inner City Press asked him if the much debated
phrase “excluding an occupation force,” does that mean “there's
no chance of boots on the ground by outside forces?”
us, and for the resolution that has been prepared, it's no
question to have people on the ground in Libya.”
asked, what if a pilot is shot down? But Juppe walked away from the
UN microphone, ending the question and answer session.
from a (late) March 16 draft of the Libya resolution, labeled
S/2001/142, which Inner City Press has obtained and as a public
service is putting online here.
There are media outlets who wave
documents around on camera, who say they have different versions. We
say: put them online and let's see. Let the public view them. Juppe's
response is public record.
the run up to
the six pm scheduled vote, long time Council observers mused back to
Iraq and Bosnia, predicting that even abstaining countries will use
their explanations of vote to show a commonality of purpose. South
Africa is said to have indicated they will vote for. Germany it would
seem, from its foreign minister's statements, would abstain. But how
fast might bombing start? Watch this site.
* * *
at 6 on Libya Text “Excluding Occupation Force,”
17 -- On Libya, the UN Security
Council is “firmly”
set to vote on a resolution at 6 pm on Thursday. A Western
told the Press that the text to be voted on includes “all necessary
Inner City Press indicates that the text to be voted on
specifically mentions Benghazi, and “exclud[es] any occupation
force,” an attempt to prohibit so called “boots on the ground.” But
some are still arguing that with the passage of time, an
intervention force could be construed as not “occupying.”
spokesperson on Thursday afternoon told Inner City Press that "the text
may change before six pm."
Araud came out and predicted “one than one” abstention.
But would Russia (dare) veto?
Churkin had emerged from the Council Wednesday night
complaining about being portrayed as obstructionist when he had made
a proposal for a resolution calling for a ceasefire, under Chapter 7
of the UN Charter.
Press on Wednesday night asked Susan Rice why, she said the previous
Council resolution 1970 had already made such a call, which Gadhafi
had ignored. On Thursday morning, Araud made the same critique of
the Russian proposal.
speculated that Araud's announcement Thursday morning that France was
calling for a vote at 6 pm was based on the travel schedule of new
French foreign minister Alain Juppe, who decided on Wednesday to fly
to New York.
Thursday afternoon said that it was Susan Rice who asked for the 6 pm
timing of the vote. Araud said “we are gentlemen;” when a
reported called Rice a gentle woman, Araud chimed in “and a
to make any predictions of the 6 pm vote, saying she is
superstitious. She was wearing a green jacket: it is, after all, St.
Patrick's Day. Watch this site.
* * *
Explains Rejection of Russian Ceasefire Proposal, Blame
16 -- On Libya, Russia offered a ceasefire resolution
and offered “Chapter Seven” of the UN Charter, Russian Ambassador
Vitaly Churkin told the Press on Wednesday evening when the UN
Security Council meeting ended.
why other Council members did
not all agree to the ceasefire proposal, Churkin told the Press that
Russia does not describe other countries' positions, and to ask them.
asked US Ambassador Susan Rice to explain opposition to Russia's
ceasefire proposal. She said that there was a need for enforcement
action, and that a call to end violence was already in the Council's
previous Resolution 1970 on Libya.
spokesperson emerged and told the Press that since this earlier
Council call for a cessation of violence had no effect, the Russian
ceasefire resolution would have sent the wrong signal.
now supports a no fly zone, Rice said the US is looking at a package
that includes a no fly zone but goes beyond it.
Arab countries which have offered to enforce a no fly zone. Ibrahim
Dabbashi, the diplomat for Libya but not Gadhafi, said there are five
Press has heard of four: Jordan, Saudi
Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, whose Permanent Representative and
presumptive next President of the UN General Assembly came to visit
the Council consultations on Wednesday, accompanied by a bodyguard.
Churkin denied it, saying this is not the US Senate or
House of Representatives.
asked if Churkin was filabustering to give Gadhafi more time
answered, “What do you think?”
proceedings have the aura of a blame game. Russia can now argue that
it is not obstructionist, it offered a ceasefire resolution which was
US can explain
what many saw as its indecisiveness about calling for a no fly zone
by saying that it wants MORE than a no fly zone.
somehow blocks such a proposal -- the deployment of a veto seems
unlikely -- the US could blame Russia for being obstructionist.
countries like India and even Germany have expressed reservations or
questions about a no fly zone.
members' experts will convene Thursday at 9 am, the Permanent
Representative at 11 am. But what will happen in the next 13 hours
in Libya? Watch this site.
* * *
Council Slows on Libya, Dabbashi Says “10 Hours, Treki in
16 -- While the UN Security
Council went through its
five page draft resolutions paragraph by paragraph, Libyan diplomat
Ibrahim Dabbashi came out to talk to the Press. He had prepared
talking about, about Gadhafi using mercenaries “who fought in
Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda,” from Niger, Mali (off camera)
and Chad (on camera).
has told Inner City Press that while they may be
“individual Chadians” fighting with Gadhafi, the Deby government
does not choose between him and the rebels.
Dabbashi said a Council resolution authorizing air strikes is needed
“in ten hours.”
do you have?” Inner City Press asked Dabbashi. Enough, he said. He
said the rebels' use of these planes has driven Gadhafi crazy.
questions about timing -- Dabbashi backed off the ten hour figure,
ending up saying the revolutionaries are “not counting” on the
Council -- Inner City Press asked him if the UN Secretariat has
spoken to him about the letter from Gadhafi's government saying he
and Shalgam no longer represent Libya, or if he thought the UN
Secretariat now recognized the rebels as the government,as France
our work with credentials, Dabbashi said.
Where is Shalgam? He is here in New York, Dabbashi said.
asked, “Where is Treki?”
Dabbashi quickly answered.
Benghazi met with Ahmed Gebreel, who worked on Treki's transition
into the Presidency of the GA. There is talk of the UN of Ali Treki,
former President of the General Assembly, seeking to go into exile
rather than come to New York to represent Gadhafi at the UN. But his
family is still in Libya. Has there ever been an Ambassador at the
UN under duress?
Dabbashi earlier at UN: now, only 10 hours? Recognized by UN?
spokesperson emerged from the Council to say that the Council is
going through the resolution paragraph by paragraph, given the
Churkin came out and told press he was angry at being
portrayed as an obstructionist. The buzz is that Russia by asking
questions is seeking to slow things down. “They don't dare veto
it,” a source said, “so they seek to slow it down.” But what
about the US? Watch this site.
* * *
on Whether All or Only Military Flights Would be
update -- Which flights would a No Fly Zone
over Libya actually
ban? All or only military flights?
after Lebanon distributed a draft resolution that it said based based
on the Arab League's decision, German Permanent Representative Wittig
came out and told the Press that Germany questioned whether a no fly
zone would be inconsistent with the Arab League's opposition to
consultations ended, to be resumed on Wednesday,
Inner City Press at the stakeout asked Lebanon's Ambassador about
Germany's stated concern that a No Fly Zone could be foreign
said no, that
“the Libyan people” and the Arab League asked for it, and if the
UN Security Council authorized it, it could not be intervention.
the course of
further reporting, informed Council sources told Inner City Press
that issue in closed door consultations was that the Arab League, in
Arabic, referred to banning military flights, while the version
introduced at the UN in English would ban ALL flights. Lost in
translation? Watch this site.
Update of 5:20 pm --
French Ambassador Gerard Araud did not echo his foreign minister
Juppe's call to bomb Gadhafi's air fields in Libya, something that
Lebanon's Ambassador seemed to speak against at the stakeout, hoping
that approving a No Fly Zone would obviate the need to bomb. Hey:
Danish Foreign Affairs minister Lene Espersen has said Denmark
with four jets and 90 staff....
Update of 5:44 pm:
India's Permanent Representative Hardeep Puri came out and told the
Press pointedly that the draft would ban ALL flights -- but as Inner
City Press first reported, is that what the Arab League has called for?
also said that India might not have the right kind of assets to enforce
a no fly zone.
Update of 5:59 pm --
when Chinese Permanent Representative Li Baodong, this month's Council
president, came to the stakeout, Inner City Press asked him to confirm
the closed door discussion of Arab League referring to military
flights, not the "all" in the draft resolution. "You're raised a good
question," he replies. So this is one of the issues Lebanon has
to check with the Arab League about overnight...
Update of 6:05 pm --
and now we have asked Lebanon's Mission to the UN, via their Twitter
account, to answer when they can. New era? We'll see.Click
BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.