UN Security Council discusses new UN mission in Libya
The United Nations Security Council began discussion Friday of a full-fledged UN mission to support Libya's transitional authorities, which are in the process of rooting out remnants of Moammer Gadaffi's regime, dpa reported.
Ian Martin, UN special adviser for post-conflict planning in Libya, held closed-door discussion with the Security Council to lay the foundation for an initial three-month UN mission. He told reporters that the council plans to adopt a resolution to deploy the mission as soon as possible, so the UN can begin delivering relief assistance to the Libyan people.
He said the mission opens the "opportunity both to bring in personnel, to provide some initial advice and assistance in the areas that the Libyans have identified, but at the same time, continue a discussion with them to plan longer-term UN support."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon proposed the mission to speed up delivery of humanitarian assistance and define Libya's needs and wishes under the Transitional National Council.
The mission would have a mandate to assist Libya's efforts to restore public security and order and to promote the rule of law, inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation. Other tasks include drafting a new constitution, preparing elections and laying the groundwork for the protection of human rights and support of justice.
Martin said the Transitional National Council has yet to establish full control over Libya, mainly because of the lack of effective police force and the proliferation of weapons in the war-torn country.
"And despite the consistent messages of (Transitional National Council) leaders appealing against revenge, there have been very serious violations of human rights, especially of sub-Saharan Africans accused often, I think quite wrongly, of having fought for the Gaddafi regime," Martin said.
He said the most serious humanitarian challenges, including restoring water supplies, had been met. He said fuel and electricity supplies were "improving" and there was no general breakdown of public order. He said schools had just re-opened.
"On the human rights front, of course, terrible evidence continues to come to light of deliberate human rights abuses and crimes of the Gaddafi regime, both those that took place over many years and during the fall of Tripoli, when many of their prisoners were massacred," Martin said.
"More mass graves are being discovered. Many families have no knowledge of loved ones who disappeared, in some cases many years ago and, in some cases, just during the recent conflict. This is going to be a very heavy burden for Libya's new leaders as they seek to show that there will be accountability within the law for the worst violations, but at the same time promote national reconciliation."