Intervention distant reality, sanctions limited for Libya

Limited actions have been taken thus far, and how effective these sanctions would be is also a separate question

Intervention distant reality, sanctions limited for Libya

Western nations, along with the United Nations and the European Union, are now seriously considering drafting sanctions over Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's clampdown on rebels, but limited actions have been taken thus far, and how effective these sanctions would be is also a separate question.

Human rights advocates have urged Western nations, NATO and the UN Security Council to take necessary measures to prevent Gaddafi from using force against the protesters, who have wrested control of much of eastern Libya and are moving closer to the capital.

Hundreds of people are estimated to have been killed in the fighting but human rights groups fear even more will die after Gaddafi pledged in a television address on Wednesday to send his troops "to cleanse Libya house by house" if the protesters did not hand over their arms.

EU officials said on Thursday they were assessing the possibility of sending a military intervention force to help with humanitarian aid and evacuations of EU citizens from Libya. They called the option a "complex and difficult possibility."

Concerns over sanctions

Britain has revoked more than 50 arms export licenses for Bahrain and Libya, covering items such as teargas and ammunition that could be used to suppress demonstrations.

French Defense Minister Alain Juppé said the possibility of any foreign military intervention in the North African nation was not on the table, but added, "I sincerely hope that Gaddafi is in his final moments as chief of state."

But there are increasing concerns over the fact that these sanctions will take a long time to impact Gaddafi and his cronies, while mass slaughter in the Arab country continues.

Italy and Turkey have raised concerns over the sanctions, claiming they could boost illegal migration and that sanctions would punish the Libyan people.

Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, said in an interview with Sunday's Zaman that the UN Security Council should pass a resolution making clear the consequences to Gaddafi and his regime should they not cease and desist in their violence against their people.

Pletka raised the danger of the possibility that the regime may turn against foreigners at a time when citizens of foreign countries are being evacuated. Pletka said this fact cannot stop the international community from trying to prevent a massacre in Libya. "Humanitarian intervention is just that: humanitarian. No decent nation should sit idly by as men, women and children are being murdered for the crime of seeking freedom," Pletka stressed.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday the military alliance will not intervene in the Libyan conflict and that any outside intervention should have a UN mandate.

"We have not received any requests in that respect. And anyway, any action should be based on a clear UN mandate," Rasmussen said during a visit to Kiev. NATO had previously intervened in Kosovo to stop ethnic cleansing.

Rasmussen said the events in Libya do not threaten any NATO members or allies, but the conflict could spark a mass refugee crisis.

The UN has called for an immediate end to violence and said those responsible for attacks on peaceful demonstrators should be held to account.

Jonathan S. Landay, a senior national security and intelligence correspondent for the McClatchy Newspapers, said it is very doubtful that Russia and China would agree to international intervention in the Security Council because they have traditionally opposed what they consider outside interference in the affairs of other countries.

Landay also expressed concern over the lives of citizens of foreign countries that could be put in grave jeopardy if the Western nations harshly condemn Gaddafi's indiscriminate use of force and re-impose sanctions at this moment. But he said giving the appearance of taking less than robust action amidst all the reports of civilian deaths opens these powers up to international and domestic criticism.

Sarah Margon, from the Center for American Progress, said the international community cannot remain on the sidelines as the situation in Libya unfolds and massive human rights violations continue to occur. She praised the UN Security Council's message to Gaddafi that condemned the violent crackdown but said the swift implementation of concrete measures -- including sanctions, an arms embargo and a no-fly zone -- are essential elements of an effective international response to the terror Gaddafi has unleashed.

Evelyn Leopold from The Huffington Post raised the issue of oil as the big game changer and told Sunday's Zaman that short of an embargo on Libya's oil revenues, there is little the council or anyone else could do to convince Gaddafi to step down unless his generals revolt.

Ranj Alaaldin, a Middle East political and security risk analyst based at the London School of Economics and Political Science, also pointed to the reluctance on the part of Russia and China that would make it difficult for the UN to take firmer measures. He said direct military action now would do more harm than good as it would support the regime's claims that foreign elements are behind the unrest and would undermine the uprising taking place.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Şubat 2011, 16:13

Muhammed Öylek