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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 31 October, 2014

UN mandate on Libya to cease next week

The United Nations has voted to lift the no-fly zone over Libya on October 31, as well as end its authorisation of military action to protect civilians.

Getting weapons off the streets is a priority for the NTC. Pictured here are heavy weapons at an unguarded storage facility in the desert, about 100kms from Sirte.
Getting weapons off the streets is a priority for the NTC. Pictured here are heavy weapons at an unguarded storage facility in the desert, about 100kms from Sirte.
Image: David Sperry/AP/Press Association Images

THE UNITED NATIONS has been unanimous in its vote to cease its mandate on protecting civilians in Libya through military action from October 31.

It will also lift the no-fly zone over the North African country on Monday.

The council’s decision comes a day after Libya’s deputy UN Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi asked the UN to wait until the transitional government made an official request.

The UN Security Council authorised a mandate for foreign military intervention on March 17 in response to an Arab League request to try to halt Muammar Gaddafi’s military, which was advancing against rebels and civilian supporters. A NATO bombing campaign followed.

Last week, the international military organisation said it would be ready to end its campaign on October 31.

Libya’s National Transitional Government declared the country liberated last Sunday, stating that free and democratic elections would be held within eight months.

Meanwhile, in Libya, Gaddafi’s driver has spoken to the Guardian newspaper that the leader’s last days were characterised by denial and confusion.

He said he moved with Gaddafi from house to house in Sirte in the last five days of the siege, trying to evade opposition fighters.

The driver, named Nasr, said he did not see fear in his boss but added that he was acting “strange”.

The NTC has vowed to prosecute the strongman’s killers following criticism over the circumstances of his death, reports Al Jazeera.

“Whoever is responsible will be judged and given a fair trial,” said Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of the NTC at a press conference in Benghazi today.

-Additional reporting by AP

Read more: Plans for Sharia-based law in Libya unveiled>

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