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UN approves Libya seat for former rebels

The UN gave strong backing to Libya’s former rebels yesterday by handing their National Transitional Council the country’s UN seat.

Ibrahim Dabbashi
Ibrahim Dabbashi
Image: Mark Lennihan/AP/Press Association Images

THE UNITED NATIONS gave strong backing to Libya’s former rebels yesterday by handing their National Transitional Council the country’s UN seat.

The UN also lifted and modified some sanctions imposed on Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

The General Assembly’s vote to accept the credentials of the National Transitional Council, which led the rebellion that ousted Gaddafi, gave its representative the right to speak at the United Nations. Libya’s former deputy ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi, who early on denounced Gaddafi and backed the rebels, addressed the Security Council hours later.

“Today is undoubtedly a decisive, historic day in the life of the Libyan people,” Dabbashi said. “It is an indication that dictatorship has fallen, a period of terror, of denial of freedom, and of violation of human rights has now come to an end for the Libyan people.”

The fact that the National Transitional Council today takes Libya’s seat at these United Nations indicates that a new page has been opened in history of the Libyan people – a page that has been marked by the blood of Libya’s sons.”

Dabbashi spoke after the Security Council unanimously approved a resolution establishing a new U.N. mission in Libya in response to a request from the NTC for help in establishing the new government.

The resolution also unfreezes assets of two Libyan oil companies, lifts a ban on flights by Libyan aircraft and modifies an arms embargo to allow Libyan authorities now controlling the country to buy arms “intended solely for security or disarmament assistance”. It also modifies the asset freeze on the Central Bank of Libya, the Libyan Foreign Bank, the Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio.

Under the resolution, the no-fly zone imposed in March after Gaddafi launched his crackdown on regime opponents will remain in place but be kept under review. The Security Council also retained the asset freeze and travel ban against Gaddafi and key family members and regime supporters.

The resolution establishes a United Nations Support Mission in Libya for an initial period of three months with a mandate to assist the new government in restoring security and the rule of law, promoting national reconciliation and embarking on the process of writing a constitution and preparing for elections. The NTC did not request any UN peacekeeping troops.

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Associated Press

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