Libyan Rebels Appeal to UN for Recognition, Protection Against Loyalists
“We request from the international community to fulfill its obligations to protect the Libyan people from any further genocide and crimes against humanity without any direct military intervention on Libyan soil,” the Interim Transitional National Council said in a March 5 letter to the UN General Assembly.
The council, which is also asking the Arab League and other international organizations for support, is based in the captured city of Benghazi.
The letter may form the basis of a challenge to the UN ambassador appointed by Qaddafi after his top two envoys to the world body broke with the regime last month. Qaddafi named Ali Abdussalam Treki, a loyalist who served as president of the General Assembly from June 2009 to June 2010.
The interim council “derives its legitimacy from the city councils who run the liberated cities, and who had been formed by the revolution,” its letter to the UN says. “The council declares that it is the sole representative of all Libya” and is “waiting” for delegations from Tripoli, the capital still in Qaddafi’s control, to join it.
The letter portrays the opposition as “defenseless protesters” squaring off against “the tyrant regime’s mercenaries and private battalions.”
The council said it has representatives from the cities of Misurata, Zentan, Zawya, Zwara, Nalout, El-Jabel El-Gharbi, Gaat and Kufra, and others whose “names will not be declared for safety reasons till the liberation of all Libya.” The letter lists Mustafa Abdeljeleel as the head of the council and names persons responsible for military and foreign affairs.
Qaddafi’s foreign ministry sent a letter to the General Assembly rescinding the appointments of Ambassador Mohammed Shalgham and Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi. They abandoned the regime and supported the Security Council resolution imposing an asset freeze and travel ban on Qaddafi, his immediate family and top aides.
“We’re studying it; it’s complicated,” Martin Nesirky, chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said last week of the letters from the Qaddafi regime. “It’s not a normal set of circumstances.”
As a recognized member of the UN, Libya has the right to name its own representatives, Nesirky said.
When there is a challenge, such as in this case, a committee of the General Assembly will adjudicate.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva in Washington at email@example.com
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