Arab League calls on UN Security Council to “shoulder responsibility” of Libyan no-fly zone

The 22-member Arab League has called for a no-fly zone across Libya, arguing that President Muammar Gaddafi has compromised the country’s soverignity by using the air force to bomb his own population.

Meeting in Cairo, the League called on the UN Security Council to “shoulder its responsibility” and implement the no-fly zone. The US – which as part of NATO would undoubtedly contribute most of the military resources for such an action – has so far been leery of intervention given its controversial history in the region. US military chiefs have earlier stated that a no-fly zone would effectively be a declaration of war, as military assets such as surface-to-air missile defence systems would have to be destroyed in order to police the zone.

Backed by air cover, Gaddafi’s forces have been steadily pushing untrained and disorganised rebel militia groups back west toward their stronghold in Benghazi. Three days ago, after near-unanimous global condemnation of Gaddafi, the rebels abandoned the oil town of Ras Lanuf and surrendered in Misrata and Breqa.

A witness to the fighting in Bin Jawwad told the UK’s Independent newspaper that the rebels had been pushed back by fighters from Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Algeria, some of whom appeared to be drugged. An Al-Jazeera cameraman, Ali Hassaon Al Jaber, was killed when his vehicle came under fire near Benghazi.

The Libyan government continues to insist that the insurgents are al-Qaeda militants.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s Sunni elite are reportedly entertaining the prospect of inviting Saudi Arabian forces into the country to crush growing calls for reform from the majority Shia population. Saudi police meanwhile reportedly fired at protesters in the country’s eastern town of Qatif during protests on Friday.

Seven demonstrators were also killed in Yemen, a day after police fired teargas and live ammunition at protesters injuring over 100 people.
Last week senior Maldivan officials warned that the local economy would “collapse within hours” if the price of oil were to skyrocket on the back of regional instability – particularly in Saudi Arabia.
The Maldives currently spends 25 percent of its GDP importing fuel, mostly marine diesel, and is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to oil price fluctuations.

3 thoughts on “Arab League calls on UN Security Council to “shoulder responsibility” of Libyan no-fly zone”

  1. Arab League is the reason why all these protests are happening in the region. As a union of arabs, they never tried to promote democracy within the region. And now when the people came on to the streets, the arab league is trying to show a double face.

  2. This is like pot calling the kettle black, Arab league is a joke.

  3. There goes the so-called Muslim Brotherhood. Instead of solving the problem among themselves, the Arab League is 'indirectly' calling USA for action in Libya. Is agitation only in Libya? What about Yemen, Egypt, Saudi and other countries? Even Saudi police 'fired' at protestors. Sooner or later, they have to bring democracy in Arab World.


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