NEW YORK, March 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC applauded the UN Security Council for passing Resolution 1373, authorizing "states to take all necessary measures to protect civilians" from attack by forces loyal to Libyan dictator Moammar al-Qadaffi. The measures include the imposition of a ban on all flights in Libyan airspace, a move designed to restrain Qadaffi's use of his air force.
"The Security Council's decision, against the background of a brutal counter-offensive by Qadaffi, which has been underway for several days, is essential for the protection of innocent lives and basic human rights in Libya," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "Qadaffi has issued a bloodcurdling pledge to show no mercy to those who have opposed him, and we should take him at his word. This resolution, spurred by the governments of the United Kingdom and France, shows that the international community is ready to stand up to this vicious dictator."
A few hours after the resolution passed, by a vote of ten in favor with five abstentions, the Libyan regime's Foreign Minister declared a ceasefire. The Libyan announcement came as NATO countries, in consultation with the Arab League, prepared to enforce the UN resolution.
"International will cannot falter because of one statement by a Qadaffi henchman," Harris said. "The case to press for Qadaffi's overthrow remains overwhelming. In the welcome words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 'If you don't support the opposition and he stays in power, there's no telling what he will do.'"