World leaders must consider all options to stop widespread violence against civilians

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(Washington, DC) – Amidst credible reports that Libya’s Qaddafi regime has engaged in widespread deliberate violence against civilians, the Genocide Intervention Network / Save Darfur Coalition (GI-NET / SDC) called on the United States, United Nations and other world leaders to embrace their responsibility to protect Libyan citizens.  Sam Bell, Executive Director of Genocide Intervention Network / Save Darfur Coalition, issued the following statement:

“The United States, the United Nations, the Arab League and the African Union must endorse and – where able – undertake decisive action to stop what could constitute crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Qaddafi regime.  If world leaders do not impose swift, severe consequences on the Qaddafi government other leaders might be tempted to employ the ‘Libya option.’”

“The UN General Assembly, including all the world’s governments, affirmed the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine in 2005. A commitment to that doctrine should compel the international community to stop what could constitute crimes against humanity taking place in Libya. Specifically, the UN Security Council should authorize the following actions:

  • Freezing assets of top Libyan officials and the Qaddafi family;
  • Referral of the situation in Libya to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court;
  • Creation of a mandatory Libya Recovery Fund into which all revenues from Libyan oil exports would be paid;
  • Establishment of a no-fly zone by willing countries, with the express aim of preventing continued operation of Libyan military aircraft if attacks against civilians continue.”

Background:

Information coming out Libya is restricted, but multiple witnesses have told international news outlets that aircraft opened fire on civilian protesters in major Libyan cities Monday. Two Libyan air force personnel allegedly defected rather than carry out orders to attack protesters from fighter jets they were operating.  While a specific civilian casualty count cannot be determined, the nature of the attacks suggests the death toll increased dramatically on Monday.

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The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network merged on November 1, 2010 to create a more powerful voice dedicated to preventing and stopping large-scale, deliberate atrocities against civilians. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities such as Congo and Burma.  The merger creates the world’s largest anti-genocide organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists globally, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors with over $700 billion in assets under management.

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