The genocide in Libya over democratic protests must end immediately, and prominent members of the international community galvanized this week to make it happen.
On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council approved a no-fly zone over Libya as a first step toward addressing the fighting between pro-government and rebel forces. The group also authorized air strikes against Col. Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, and his forces who have incited violence and destruction across the country in the past two months.
The UN-approved no-fly zone means that flights in and out of Libya are banned. This is a move to stop the air strikes that Gaddafi has launched against the rebel fighters. Since the conflict began, hundreds of people have been killed as a response to the uprising. Officials believe that air strikes by foreign war planes on Gaddafi’s positions could begin as early as Friday.
The United States and nine other nations, including France and Britain, voted in favor of the no-fly zone and further military action. China, Russia, and three other nations abstained from the vote.
“This resolution should send a strong message to Colonel Qadhafi and his regime that the violence must stop, the killing must stop and the people of Libya must be protected and have the opportunity to express themselves freely,” said Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
Libya has been in upheaval in recent weeks as a pro-democracy wave has taken over parts of the Middle East. With the successful ouster of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak on February 11, other nations took note and began their own pushes for democratic reforms. Enabled by social media, the determined will of the people, and in Libya’s case, weapons, citizens began to fight to take back their government from the dictator.
Col. Gaddafi, has pushed back hard against the international community and his people about any suggestions that he should step down. He has made good on threats to use violence on any of his citizens and rebel fighters that oppose his government.
Keeping his position of the past few weeks, Col. Gaddafi responded harshly to the United Nations actions and vowed to keep up his fight.
“Any foreign military act against Libya will expose all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea to danger and civilian and military facilities will become targets of Libya’s counter-attack,” Gaddafi’s government said in a statement reported by Reuters. “The Mediterranean basin will face danger not just in the short-term, but also in the long-term.”