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US Senate approves resolution demanding Gaddafi's resignation

Senators unanimously pass a resolution seeking regime change in Libya, and calling on the UN to impose a no-fly area.

Image: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

THE UNITED STATES Senate has approved a resolution calling for the immediate resignation of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, condemning what it saw as “gross and systematic violations of human rights”.

The measure, which was passed unanimously by the 100-strong body, also called on the United Nations and its Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.

The resolution applauded the courage of the Libyan public for standing up against Gaddafi’s regime, which was characterised as a “brutal dictatorship”, and called on Gaddafi to desist from further violence amid fears he is readying chemical weapons for use against those involved continued uprisings.

“Gaddafi stands alone,” Democratic senator Robert Menendez, the resolution’s proponent, said. “The world stands united against him and his regime’s brutality.”

In a show of cross-party support, the move was also put forward by Republican Mark Kirk, and welcomed condemnations of the actions by the African Union as well as a number of other international bodies.

The call for a no-fly zone has been rubbished by other countries, however, with a senior Russian diplomat telling PA the idea was “superfluous” – because introducing such an embargo on flights would require the elimination of Gaddafi’s own air capabilities.

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Gaddafi’s forces have continued battles to try and retain control of towns near the capital Tripoli, in attempts to create a ‘buffer zone’ around the capital.

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Gavan Reilly

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