UNSC votes to end military action in Libya
The 15-member UN body unanimously passed Resolution 2016 ending the UN mandate that had allowed military intervention as also terminating the no-fly zone over Libya that had been imposed in March this year.
In approving the military mandate in March, the UN had allowed member states to take "all necessary measures" to protect civilians during a popular uprising against the country`s former regime. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members and other countries had carried out air strikes to protect civilians caught up in the fighting between rebels and forces supporting former leader Gaddafi.
According to the new resolution, the authorisation will end at 11:59 pm local time in Libya on October 31. Authorisation for the no-fly zone will lapse at the same time. In the resolution the Council welcomed the "positive developments" and said it looks forward to swift establishment of an inclusive, representative transitional government.
It reiterated the need for the transitional period to be underpinned by a commitment to democracy, good governance, rule of law, national reconciliation and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people.
The Council strongly urged Libyan authorities to refrain from reprisals, including arbitrary detentions and called on them to take all steps necessary to prevent wrongful imprisonment and extra-judicial executions.
Council members also stressed the Libyan authorities` responsibility for the protection of its population, including foreign nationals and migrants from the rest of Africa.
Libya`s National Transitional Council (NTC) had on Sunday declared the full liberation of the country, more than eight months after the popular uprising began, and days after the death of Gaddafi in his hometown of Sirte.
The pro-democracy uprising in Libya was part of a wider popular movement across North Africa and the Middle East this year that has also led to the downfall of long-term regimes in Tunisia and Egypt.
US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said she was pleased that the military action is now over in Libya. She however added that as Libya moves forward, authorities should make maximum effort to swiftly form an inclusive government that incorporates all aspects of Libyan society, and in which the rights of all Libyan people are fully respected.