James Forsyth

Allies’ statement on Libya demands more of Gaddafi than just a cease-fire

Allies' statement on Libya demands more of Gaddafi than just a cease-fire
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A statement has just been issued by the sponsors of last night’s Security Council resolution, it reads:

“Resolution 1973 lays out very clear conditions that must be met. The UK, US, France and Arab States agree that a cease fire must be implemented immediately. That means all attacks against civilians must stop. Gaddafi must stop his troops from advancing on Benghazi, pull back his troops from Ajdabiyah, Misratah, and Zawiyah, and re-establish water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas. Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of Libya. These terms are not negotiable. If Gaddafi does not comply with the Resolution, the international community will impose consequences, and this Resolution will be enforced through military action."

The most important point here is that it requires Gaddafi to pull back from areas that he has recaptured in the past few days and that he restore everywhere’s basic utilities, preventing him from imposing an effective siege on the rebel areas of the country. It is demanding far more of a Gaddafi than the ‘ceasefire’ his regime claims to have implemented today. Military action now looks increasingly likely.