A rare show of unanimity by the UN Security Council on Saturday imposed arms, travel and asset sanctions on Libya’s Colonel Gadaffi and his closest aides.
The passing of the resolution provoked an emotional response from the Libyan delegates to the United Nations, who embraced tearfully. The sanctions increase the pressure on Gaddafi to quit before any more deaths occur.
“The Tripoli regime no longer has any credibility”, said Libya’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi. “It goes without saying that this resolution represents moral support for our people who are resisting”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the text “sends a strong message that gross violations of basic human rights will not be tolerated, and that those responsible for grave crimes will be held responsible.”
In the Libyan city of Benghazi, where opposition demonstrators control the streets, there was support for the UN decision
“This is the people’s decision, the decision of our republic and the decision of the Security Council and we support it,” said one man.
But there was also some scepticism.
“This is a popular revolution. We do not want foreign interference. Obama is only looking after his own interests and the interests of Europe. We are looking after our own national interest, which is to topple Gaddafi”.
The UN also agreed to refer the Gaddafi regime’s deadly crackdown on protesters to the permanent war crimes tribunal.