Libya violence: Ban asks UNSC to take action

United Nations: UN chief Ban Ki-moon has asked the powerful Security Council to take "concrete action" against Muammar Gaddafi`s regime in Libya to stop his forces` bloody crackdown against anti-government protesters, warning that any delay would add to the death toll which has already crossed 1,000.

"It is time for the Security Council to consider concrete action," he said in his address to the 15-member body, including India, which held its second meeting on Libya in less than a week.

The loss of time means more loss of lives, Ban said last evening, adding that the estimated death toll in the violence in Libya in recent days was more than 1,000.

The UNSC meeting is scheduled to continue today as well during which the Council would consider a draft resolution, "including specific targeted measures aimed at putting an end to violence, helping achieve a peaceful solution to the current crisis, ensuring accountability and respecting the will of the Libyan people," its President for this month, Brazilian Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, said.

"These accounts — from the press, from human rights groups and from civilians on the ground – raise grave concerns about the nature and scale of the conflict. They include allegations of indiscriminate killings, arbitrary arrests, shooting of peaceful demonstrators, the detention and torture of the opposition and the use of foreign mercenaries," he said.

Some 22,000 have fled to Tunisia and a reported 15,000 to Egypt, Ban said.

"It is time for the Security Council to consider concrete action. The hours and the days ahead will be decisive for Libyans and their country, with equally important implications for the wider region.

"The statements and actions of the Security Council are eagerly awaited and will be closely followed throughout the region," Ban said.

Later, Ban told reporters that he has urged the Security Council to go through a wide range of options.

"I understand that the Security Council is very seriously considering all possible options but that is up to the Member States of the Security Council — to determine what course of action should be taken at this time," he said.

"I am not sure, after having spoken extensively with Col Gaddafi, whether he will yield to the calls of the international community. Of course, whenever it is necessary, I am willing to do anything to protect civilian populations and to stop the violence. But he has been trying to justify and defend his position; I have been trying to talk to all the leaders in the region and I will continue to do that," Ban said in response to a question.