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Posts Tagged ‘UN Security Council’

Libyan Airspace ‘Under Control’ As Two Sides Meet

Huffpost- First Posted: 03/25/11 08:48 AM Updated: 03/25/11 08:48 AM

BENGHAZI, Libya — France declared Libya’s airspace “under control” on Friday, after NATO agreed to take command of the no-fly zone in a compromise that appeared to set up dual command centers and possibly new confusion. Coalition warplanes struck Moammar Gadhafi’s forces outside the strategic eastern gateway city of Ajdabiya.

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Representatives for the regime and the rebels were expected to meet formally for the first time Friday, in Ethiopia, in what the U.N. described as a part of an effort to reach a cease-fire and political solution.

The overnight French and British strikes on an artillery battery and armored vehicles were intended to give a measure of relief to Ajdabiya, where residents have fled or cowered under more than a week of shelling and fighting between rebels and government troops. Explosions also could be heard in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, before daybreak Friday, apparently from airstrikes.

“Libyan airspace is under control, and we proved it yesterday, because a Libyan plane in the hands of pro-Gadhafi forces, which had just taken off from Misrata in order to bomb Misrata, was destroyed by a French Rafale,” Adm. Edouard Guillaud said on France-Info radio.

But the compromise that puts NATO in charge of clearing the skies still leaves the U.S. responsible for the more difficult task of planning attacks on Gadhafi’s ground forces and other targets.

Ajdabiya has been under siege for more than a week, with the rebels holding the city center and scattered checkpoints but facing relentless shelling from government troops on the outskirts. Residents are without electicity or drinking water, and many have fled.

The U.S. military said coalition jets flew about 150 on Thursday, about 70 of them with American planes.

“The operation is still focusing on tanks, combat vehicles, air defense targets – really whatever equipment and personnel are threatening the no-fly zone or civilians on the ground in such locations as Ajdabiya and along some other areas on the coast,” Marine Corps Capt. Clint Gebke told reporters from aboard the USS Mount Whitney.

The U.S. has been trying to give up the lead role in the operation against Gadhafi’s forces, and NATO agreed late Thursday to assume one element of it – control of the no-fly zone.

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Ex-UN prosecutor: Bush may be next up for International Criminal Court

Raw  Story- Stephen C. Webster
Published: Saturday March 7, 2009

An ex-UN prosecutor has said that following the issuance of an arrest warrant for the president of Sudan, former US President George W. Bush could — and should — be next on the International Criminal Court’s list.

The former prosecutor’s assessment was echoed in some respect by United Nations General Assembly chief Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua, who said America’s military occupation of Iraq has caused over a million deaths and should be probed by the United Nations.

“David Crane, an international law professor at Syracuse University, said the principle of law used to issue an arrest warrant for [Sudanese President] Omar al-Bashir could extend to former US President Bush over claims officials from his Administration may have engaged in torture by using coercive interrogation techniques on terror suspects,” reported the New Zealand Herald.

The indictment of Bashir was a landmark, said Crane, because it paved a route for the court at The Hague to pursue heads of states engaged in criminality.

“Crane also said that the [Bashir] indictment may even be extended to the former president George W. Bush, on the grounds that some officials in terms of his administration engaged in harsh interrogation techniques on terror suspects which mostly amounted to torture,” said Turkish Weekly.

“All pretended justifications notwithstanding, the aggressions against Iraq and Afghanistan and their occupations constitute atrocities that must be condemned and repudiated by all who believe in the rule of law in international relations,” Brockmann told the Human Rights Council. “The illegality of the use of force against Iraq cannot be doubted as it runs contrary to the prohibition of the use of force in Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter. It sets a number of precedents that we cannot allow to stand.”

The Bush administration boycotted the Human Rights Council. The day Brockmann made his accusations happened to be the first in which the United States had observers at the council, on orders from President Obama.

According to Iranian news network PressTV, the Iranian government called the Bashir indictment “a blow to International justice” and an “insult directed at Muslims.”

Iran’s plainly stated sentiment toward the court’s legitimacy is similar in spirit to that of the United States. Because the US Government has refused to recognize the court by becoming a signatory in its statute, “the only other way Bush could be investigated is if the [UN] Security Council were to order it, something unlikely to happen with Washington a veto-wielding permanent member,” said the Herald.

Due to the International Criminal Court’s lack of any real police force, it has traditionally relied upon signatory states for enforcement of its rulings. But when the leader of one such state is indicted, the court’s authority and enforcement capability is called into question. Even the arrest of Bashir is a far cry, for now. And without a UN Security Council order, former US President Bush would not go on “trial” before the court any time soon.

However, on January 26, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak insisted that the pursuit of Bush and members of his administration for the torture of terror war prisoners is crucial if justice is to be served.

Nowak added that he believes enough evidence exists currently to proceed with the prosecution of Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of Defense who was credited as being highly influential in the crafting and push for America’s invasion of Iraq and the prior administration’s abusive interrogation tactics.

The following video was published to YouTube on March 6 by the non-profit, Web-based news service LinkTV.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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