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Statement on Libya

International Co-ordinating Committee No to War – No to NATO

The International Co-ordinating Committee No to War – No to NATO (ICC) strongly condemns the attacks of the USA, France, and Britain on Libya, to implement a so-called “no-fly zone”. The attacks, clearly prepared before the United Nations Security Council authorised the no-fly zone, do not contribute to a solution of the Libyan crisis, but only add further suffering. The ICC also strongly criticises UN Security Council resolution 1973 from 17 March 2011, which authorises military action against Libya.

The ICC is strongly opposed to the violence used by the regime of Col Gaddafi to suppress the Libyan peoples' demands for democracy. Unlike his counterparts in Tunisia or Egypt, Gaddafi did not stand down, but unleashed brutal force on the up to then mainly nonviolent protests for freedom, turning the Libyan uprising into civil war, with thousands of mainly civilian victims. Far from bringing a solution to the civil war, UNSC resolution 1973 (2011) merely adds a third military actor to the war, with far greater destructive capabilities.

The ICC condemns NATO and those member states that take part in military action against Libya. Through the implementation of the “no-fly zone” and the bombing of Gaddafi forces in Libya, NATO effectively turns into the air force of the Libyan opposition. The ICC is also concerned that this is not the only military and logistical support NATO is providing to one side of the war in Libya.

The ICC is also concerned about reports of racism and abuse of Africans in opposition controlled territories, and of the use of rape as a weapon of war by Gaddafi's forces.

The ICC highlights that Gaddafi has in recent years received arms from many Western and non-Western countries, in spite of widespread human rights violations in the country. In this context, the outcry of Western governments about the use of these weapons by Gaddafi against Libya's population is at best hypocritical, and at worst a means to further other interests, not least the control of Libya's vast oil and gas resources.

The ICC strongly believes that a solution to the Libyan crisis has to be negotiated by the different actors of Libyan society, without outside military interference. We call on all parties – the regime of Col Gaddafi, the opposition coalition, and the new “coalition of the willing” now led by NATO – to immediately halt all military action. We encourage all parties in and outside Libya to come to a negotiated settlement of the conflict, and welcome all serious offers for mediation.

The ICC strongly believes that bombs do not bring democracy, nor do they protect human lives. We support all initiatives supporting a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis, and for a new, independent and democratic Libya.

Approved, 28 March 2011