UN should authorise NATO and Egypt to enforce Libyan ‘No Fly Zone’ to protect civilians

In the wake of reported air attacks on civilian crowds by the Libyan airforce, former Foreign Secretary Lord David Owen has called on the UN Security Council to immediately meet in emergency session and authorise a ‘No Fly Zone’ over Libya.

In the wake of reported air attacks on civilian crowds by the Libyan Air Force, former foreign secretary David Owen has called on the UN Security Council to immediately meet in emergency session and authorise a ‘No Fly Zone’ over Libya.

Speaking on al Jazeera, Lord Owen called for a UN Charter Chapter 7 intervention – meaning the authorisation of both military and non-military means to “restore international peace and security” – to be enforced by NATO air forces with Egyptian military support to demonstrate regional backing for the effort.

Lord Owen said:

“The UN Security Council should meet in emergency session tonight and declare the situation in Libya as a threat to peace under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter and declare a no flight zone for the Libyan Air Force and ask the regional power, NATO, to enforce it from dawn tomorrow.

“And hopefully other Arab nations, particularly Egypt, might decide to participate to demonstrate that this is not just a Western initiative.”

Lord Owen went on to call for:

“…air forces in the region with sufficient range to reach Libya to prevent any Libyan Air Force military action against civilians.”

The call matches those of human rights advocates for actions not just words from the international community. The New York Times’s Nick Kristof tweeted:

“Under ‘Right to Protect’ doctrine, West cld bomb air fields from which Qaddafi’s warplanes are taking off.”

And:

“Better yet: Egypt & Tunisia could use their air forces to ground Qadaffi’s planes, keep him from slaughtering his people.”

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