UN report on Libya: No-fly zone being enforced, but no ceasefire

UN report on Libya: No-fly zone being enforced, but no ceasefire

Coalition forces are enforcing the week-old no- fly zone, but Libyan authorities have failed to order a ceasefire despite its claims to have done so, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday in his first report on the situation in that country, dpa reported.

The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 on March 17, banning flights in Libya's airspace and authorizing countries and organizations to enforce the ban. It asked Ban to report on the implementation within a week.

Ban told an open session of the 15-country Security Council that US and European forces initiated airstrikes on Saturday "with the objective of effectively establishing a no-fly zone over the country."

Bab said that Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa had called him, and Libyan authorities repeatedly claimed to have instituted a ceasefire.

"We see no evidence that is the case," Ban said. "In short, there is no evidence that Libyan authorities have taken steps to carry out their obligations under Resolutions 1970 or 1973."

He said fierce fighting has continued in and around the Libyan cities of Ajdabiya, Misurata and Zitan.

Resolution 1970 adopted on February 26 imposed an arms embargo, sanctions, freeze of assets and a travel ban on the regime of Moamer Gaddafi and his direct family members. A week ago, Resolution 1973 declared the no-fly zone and allowed use of force to carry it out and strengthen the sanctions.

Ban reiterated Resolution 1973's aim of protecting Libyan civilians from Gaddafi's military attacks.

He reported to the Security Council that Tripoli blamed "al-Qaeda and Islamic terrorists" as the sources of the conflict, forcing Libyan troops to fight back.

Ban returned Wednesday to New York from visits in Egypt and Tunisia to learn first hand the revolutions in the countries. He attended a meeting called Sunday in Paris by the French government to devise coalition's plan to enforce the no-fly zone.

On the humanitarian side, Ban said more than 330,000 people have fled Libya since the fighting erupted and another 9,000 people are stranded at the country's borders with Egypt and Tunisia. The UN has appealed for 160 million dollars to assist those people.

The UN said it expects new waves of migrants and refugees in the coming weeks, with up 250,000 people trying to flee Libya.

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