The international response to the Libyan crisis is becoming a two pronged attack – on one hand diplomatic pressure has been intensified, with the United Nations unanimously suspending Libya’s membership of the UN’s Human Rights Council.
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon told the Assembly: “The world has spoken with one voice: we demand an immediate end to the violence against civilians and full respect for their fundamental human rights, including those of peaceful assembly and free speech.”
The other approach is a flexing of military muscle by both NATO and the US due to fears that this – the most violent of the recent Arab revolts – may grow bloodier if Gaddafi doesn’t soon quit.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking to the House of Foreign Affairs Committee, said:
“We have also with NATO allies and with the Pentagon begun to look at potential planning, preparedness in the event that we feel it’s necessary for both humanitarian and other reasons that there would have to be actions taken. One of those actions that is under review is a no-fly zone.”
Three US military ships have now passed through the Suez Canal towards the Libyan coast. As yet their deployment is only for a possible humanitarian effort, but that could change.