After days of discussions, the UN Security Council has adopted a resolution on Libya that lets the world community intervene and bomb military targets within the country, all under the premise of protecting the civilian population.
Ten out of 15 countries on the United Nations Security Council voted in support of the resolution. Russia, Brazil, China, Germany and India abstained from the vote.
The resolution calls for an immediate cease-fire in Libya and also implements an authorization of a no-fly zone over the country. It also says that all countries should act unilaterally and take all necessary means to protect civilians in Libya from the violence that has been escalating over the past month.
The definition “all necessary means” gives the UN a lot of room in deciding how to act when it comes to quelling the uprising in Libya.
The vote was passed a lot quicker than had been anticipated – it took less than an hour.
Libyan authorities have called the resolution a “threat to the country’s unity.” The deputy foreign minister of Libya, Khaled Kaim, said the resolution “calls on Libyans to kill each other.”
He also expressed gratitude to the five countries that abstained from the vote.
In the meantime, upon the announcement of the resolution, numerous celebrations began in the opposition-controlled city of Benghazi.
Earlier, the prospect of Russia vetoing the resolution had been widely discussed in the media. However, Russia, along with the other veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, China, only abstained from voting.
The reason for the hesitation was an unwillingness to support any measures that would open the door for military intervention in Libya. Russia, along with some other countries, had at first called for a diplomatic approach.
There are fears among many experts that military intervention would only exacerbate the violence in Libya.
But at the same time, the BRIC countries and Germany may not have wanted to block the international community from trying to stop the violence in Libya. This may explain the abstention from the vote, instead of a veto.
It remains unknown when the international community will begin to take any action and what will result from them.
Britain and France claim to be prepared to act immediately. It has also been reported by many US media outlets that the Pentagon has been preparing for some sort of action against Libya.
It is expected that those Western countries will be among the ones to act first.