AU: No military intervention in Libya


The African Union (AU) has rejected military intervention in Libya to stop a crackdown on opponents of the regime of leader Muammar Gadhafi (pictured). “The council reaffirms its firm commitment to the respect of the unity and territorial integrity of Libya,” AU Peace and Security Council commissioner Ramtane Lamamra says.

The AU’s 15-member peace and security council decided “to put in place a high level AU ad hoc committee” to monitor the crisis in the north African country where Gaddafi faces an uprising against his 41 years in power. The announcement came after NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels yesterday postponed any decision on a no-fly zone in Libya until it got UN clearance.

Many other countries have also voiced their opposition to any military intervention in unrest-torn Libya, the South African government news agency, BuaNews reported. The Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Damascus was against all forms of external intervention in Libya’s affairs, and stressed respect for its sovereignty, independence and unity. “Syria calls for securing the lives of civilians, stopping violence against the Libyan people and resorting to wisdom and dialogue,” the official SANA news agency reported.

The United States and its Western allies were debating on enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, along with a military action against Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi’s forces.

Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders say the ongoing insecurity continues to hinder aid agencies from reaching areas of western Libya that are in urgent need of medical supplies and assistance. According to Anne Chatelain, an emergency medical coordinator currently based in Benghazi, the teams of the agency’s medical staff have managed to reach health facilities in Ajdabya and Brega, but were unable to proceed to Ras Lanuf, about 270 miles west of the eastern city of Benghazi.

According to information provided by the agency in its website, the medical aid group has so far provided about 22 tons of medical supplies, including surgical sets, burn kits, dressing materials, anesthetics and antibiotics. An additional 11 tons of medicines and medical materials are en route to Benghazi, officials with the medical aid agency said. They added that supplies are being channelled to areas where violent clashes and increased aerial bombardments have created the most need, BuaNews and the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, report.

One such location is Benghazi’s central pharmacy, which is supplying the entire network of medical facilities in eastern Libya but is facing increasing risk and challenges in getting the aid to besieged regions, the organisation said.