A call for up scaling Responsibility to Protect Mechanism in the Libya Situation
03 March 2011
Human Rights Network-Uganda (HURINET-U) is concerned that human rights violations continue to persist in Libya at the outset of political protests by civilian population demanding an end to Muammar Gaddafi‟s 42 years reign. The protests began on February 14, 2011 in the Libyan capital-Tripoli, and have since spread across the entire state. The government of Libya has responded by the use of force to crush the unrest. The speech made by Gaddafi saying that „he would rather die a martyr than to step down‟, coupled with calling on his supporters to attack and “cleanse Libya house by house” until protestors surrender, demonstrate his unwillingness to respond to the demands of Libyan people.
The international community should be reminded that, the heads of State and government at the
2005 World Summit pledged to protect populations by preventing genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity, as well as their incitement. HURINET-U is concerned about reports of aircraft bombing protesters and foreign mercenaries attacking civilians in Libya.
This indicates that Libyan government has gone beyond the threshold of “manifestly failing” to protect its own population. In such circumstances, the responsibility to protect the Libyan people needs to be shifted from Libya to the international community. (…)
Based on the above therefore, we recommend that;
1. African states should uphold the principle of no-indifference as enshrined in Article four of the AU Constitutive Act and immediately intervene in ending massacres of civilian population in Libya.
2. AU and the Arab league have a duty to intervene and take appropriate actions to ensure that the rights and freedoms of Libyans are protected.
3. Libyan authorities and the belligerents should act with restraint, to respect human rights and international humanitarian law, and to allow immediate access for international human rights monitors and humanitarian agencies.
4. Considering that the UN Security Council (UNSC) has already treated the situation in
Libya as a threat to International Peace and Security and referred the situation to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, it is necessary that the UNSC triggers its powers under Chapter VII of the UN Charter by taking appropriate non-military and military action to restore peace and security for the people of Libya.
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