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Gaddafi's looming end

Norway foreign minister talks: UN Human Rights Council resolves to continue economic and political pressures on Libya while rumours fly that Gaddafi is already losing his marbles

Dina Ezzat , Wednesday 2 Mar 2011
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"Libya is a drama of high proportion; a leader shooting at his own people is void, by now of legitimacy," said the foreign minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Store.

Speaking in Cairo on Tuesday afternoon at the beginning of a visit to Egypt, the top Norwegian diplomat excluded an international military intervention to end the bloodshed in Libya. "It is not advisable," he argued.

For the West to intervene in the middle of the Libyan revolution now, Store suggested, could somehow undermine the nationalist nature of the revolution.

What the West would continue to do in an escalated fashion, the visiting European foreign minister said, is to increase the economic and political pressure that has already been put on Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and to expand humanitarian assistance for the Libyan people.

Later, the Norwegian foreign minister said, the international community would be ready to assist Libya with the transitional period.

According to Store, the consensual resolution of the UN Security Council on Libya and the collective position of the UN Human Rights Council on the matter is a clear message to Gaddafi that he would not get away with killing his own people.

"It is important that the international community gives a united response to the [Libyan] authorities' gross violations of human rights and that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

In its resolution adopted on Libya the UN Human Rights Council decided to set out an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the gross violations of human rights committed by Libyan authorities against its own people.

Meanwhile, a source at the International Criminal Court said that the ICC mandate is "specially tailored" to address violations "committed by people like Gaddafi."

He added that the ICC assessment and those of independent and credible human rights organisations suggest that by the time the rule of Gaddafi comes to an end it would be clear that no less than 10 thousand civilians have been killed by the troops and foreign forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi.

This said, Libyan diplomats in exile, suggested that it is most unlikely that Gaddafi would actually be taken to the ICC. "I think Gaddafi would be either killed or commit suicide; he is already on drugs and he is going through a very hard time; he is losing the little sanity that he ever had."

Earlier in the week, Western diplomats had suggested that Gaddafi had a day or two – maximum four days before his rule comes to an end. On Tuesday, the same sources stood by their assessment that time is running out for the man who ruled Libya for over 40 years.

Meanwhile, Norway’s foreign minister would not say how much more time he thinks before Gaddafi's rule comes to an end.

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