Key Libyan diplomats disowned Muammar Qadhafi’s regime for its brutal crackdown on protesters and the country’s deputy U.N. ambassador called for an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council that will take place Tuesday.
The Libyan ambassador to the United States urged Mr. Qadhafi to step down, the ambassador to India resigned as did the ambassador to Bangladesh who protested the killing of family members by government troops.
Almost all Libyan diplomats at the United Nations backed deputy ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi’s pleas to Mr. Qadhafi to end his 40-year rule and to the international community to intervene.
The U.N. spokesperson’s office said late Monday that the Security Council had scheduled consultations on the situation in Libya for Tuesday morning. Earlier, Mr. Dabbashi had called for an urgent meeting of the council to take action to stop the bloodshed.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters in Beverly Hills, California, that he hopes “the Security Council will take this matter on an urgent basis.”
Mr. Dabbashi urged the international community to impose a no-fly zone “on the cities of Libya so no mercenaries, no supplies of arms will arrive to the regime.”
Mr. Ban said it was up to the Security Council to decide whether to call for a “no-fly zone” over Libya to protect protesters from attacks by Libyan aircraft.
As diplomatic support for Mr. Qadhafi began to crumble, Mr. Dabbashi warned that if he doesn’t leave, “the Libyan people will get rid of him.”
Mr. Qadhafi’s security forces unleashed the most deadly crackdown of any Arab country against the wave of protests sweeping the region, with reports Monday that demonstrators were being fired at from helicopters and warplanes. After seven days of protests and deadly clashes in Libya’s eastern cities, the eruption of turmoil in the capital, Tripoli, sharply escalated the challenge to Mr. Qadhafi.
Mr. Ban said he had spoken to Mr. Qadhafi earlier Monday for 40 minutes and “forcefully urged him to stop violence against demonstrators and again strongly underlined the importance of respecting the human rights of those demonstrators.”
Mr. Ban expressed outrage at what he described as “very disturbing and shocking scenes” of Libyan authorities firing at demonstrators from warplanes and helicopters.
“This is unacceptable. This must stop immediately. This is a serious violation of international humanitarian law,” Mr. Ban told reporters at a hotel in Beverly Hills.
Libya’s ambassador to the United States called for Mr. Qadhafi to step down and asked the international community to condemn strongly the regime’s violent crackdown.
“There’s no other solution. He should step down and give the chance for the people to make their future,” Ambassador Ali Aujali said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Mr. Aujali added: “How can I support the government killing our people? ... What I have seen in front of my eyes now is not acceptable at all.”
Mr. Aujali, who has been Libya’s ambassador to the United States since 2009, said he was not resigning his post, because he is part of the “good side” of the Libyan government and not part of the killing.
“There are many people working very hard to make things work in the right way but, unfortunately, we don’t have enough power that we can change everything going on in Libya,” he said.
Mr. Dabbashi, the deputy U.N. ambassador, also said he and the U.N. diplomats were not resigning because they served the people of Libya and not the regime. “This is in fact a declaration of war against the Libyan people,” he told reporters, surrounded by a dozen Libyan diplomats. “The regime of Qadhafi has already started the genocide against the Libyan people.”
Libya’s U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Shalgham was not present at Mr. Dabbashi’s press conference. He told the U.N. correspondent for the pan-Arab newspaper, Al-Hayat, that all diplomats at Libya’s mission supported Mr. Dabbashi “excluding me.” Mr. Shalgham said he was in touch with the Qadhafi government and was trying “to persuade them to stop these acts.”
Libya’s ambassador to Bangladesh, A. H. Elimam, resigned to protest the killing of family members by government soldiers in Libya, said a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka.
The official said Mr. Elimam informed the foreign ministry about his resignation late Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the issue, and provided no other details.
In India, Libyan Ambassador Ali al-Essawi told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he had resigned his post. “The authorities are killing peaceful people, which is not acceptable,” Mr. al-Essawi said. “We have to stop the bloodshed. It’s the responsibility of the international community to stop the bloodshed.”
Abdel-Moneim al-Houni, who resigned Sunday as Libya’s ambassador to the Arab League in Cairo, demanded that Mr. Qadhafi and his commanders and aides be put on trial for “the mass killings in Libya.”
At least one diplomat at the Libyan Embassy in Beijing, Hussein El-Sadek El-Mesrati, said he had resigned after seeing his people “killed by the Hitler Gadhafi.”
“I tell him, ‘Finished! Game over! Get out! Get out! Go in Israel. Israel. Go, go! Your people in Israel, not in Arab people. Finished!,” said Mr. El-Mesrati, who did not identify his position as he stood outside the embassy with about a dozen Libyan protesters.
The Libyan Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, issued a statement condemning what it called the “barbaric” killing of civilians. About 200 Libyan citizens living in Malaysia, mainly university students, staged a peaceful protest at the embassy, chanting, “Game over, Qadhafi!” and smashing a framed photograph of the Libyan leader that they had taken from inside the embassy.
The embassy in Kuala Lumpur was not formally operating Tuesday, but the ambassador and most other staff planned to return to work Wednesday, said embassy representative Osama Saleh, adding that no diplomats would be stepping down there.
In Tokyo, a Japanese woman who answered the phone at the Libyan Embassy said no staff were there. The woman, who declined to be named, would not say whether the diplomats had left Japan.
Officials at Libya’s embassies in South Korea and Australia said all staff were working as usual.
At the U.N., Mr. Dabbashi urged the international community to establish safe passage for medical supplies from neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt to get across the borders to Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, which protesters claimed to control after heavy fighting.
“We also call on the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate the crimes against humanity committed by Qadhafi against the Libyan people,” Mr. Dabbashi told the Associated Press.
Mr. Dabbashi said Mr. Qadhafi needed to be brought before the court to answer not only for “the genocide he is committing now” but also for “all the other crimes he has committed during the 42 years in power.”
Mr. Dabbashi called on all countries to refuse entry to Mr. Qadhafi if he tries to escape and to monitor financial transactions if he tries to send money outside Libya.
Some 70 human rights groups from around the world called for immediate international action “to halt the mass atrocities now being perpetrated by the Libyan government against its own people.”
The groups urged the U.N. Security Council to meet and take action to protect Libyan civilians from “crimes against humanity,” and they urged the U.N. General Assembly to suspend Libya from membership on the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.