To end bloodshed in Libya, maintain pressure on Gaddafi to step down

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Wednesday, 2 March, 2011
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The Elders state that only Colonel Gaddafi's departure from power can stop the violent repression in Libya, and urge UN Member States to consider measures to provide immediate protection amd humanitarian assistance to the civilian population.

The Elders today called on the international community to maintain pressure on Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to step down as the only way to end the bloodshed in Libya.

Welcoming the strong resolution adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council to try to halt the violent repression in Libya, they urged the rapid implementation of agreed measures including an arms embargo, targeted financial sanctions and travel bans. The Elders also underlined the need for swift humanitarian assistance to those in need, including people fleeing the violence.

The decision by the UN Security Council to refer recent events in Libya to the International Criminal Court to examine whether crimes against humanity have been committed and to potentially prosecute those involved also marks an important step forward. However none of these measures is likely to provide immediate protection to the civilian population.

UN Member States should consider whether other measures may be necessary to protect the people of Libya when their leader has manifestly failed to do so.

Ultimately, the Elders say, it is Colonel Gaddafi's departure from power, along with that of key members of his regime, that will forestall further bloodshed.

Desmond Tutu  

Chair of The Elders, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said:

“This is a moral universe – the Libyan people have right on their side and I am confident that they will succeed in their quest for freedom.

“I admire their courage in facing up to a leader who has in effect declared a brutal war on his own people to cling onto power.

“Gaddafi must recognise the truth – that the people of Libya are demanding change and he cannot stand in their way.”

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