The UN adopted a resolution on Thursday demanding an immediate cease-fire in Libya. If this is not observed, member states of the Arab League and other UN members are authorised to take military and other measures against the Libyan regime. There will be no international occupation forces on the ground, but everything possible will be done to protect civilians in Libya.
The resolution was carried by a slim majority, with five members including Russia and China abstaining. While the Security Council was voting, Colonel Gaddafi’s forces continued to fight the opposition stronghold of Benghazi in eastern Libya, while the Libyan leader said on the radio that there would be no mercy for his opponents. He called them *”traitors”* and *”sons of dogs”*.
A spokesman for the Tripoli government said earlier on Thursday that UN-authorised military action against Libya would be illegal. *”Any country would have fought against an armed rebellion,”* spokesman Mussa Ibrahim told reporters.
A government source in France said that its air force was ready to begin implementing the UN resolution within hours of its adoption, together with the British air force and a number of Arab countries’ defense forces. US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said on Thursday that military action was unavoidable to make the no-fly zone work.
Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal promised the Lower House on Thursday that he would do everything possible to achieve a joint European Union response to the Libya crisis, saying he would contact EU Foreign Representative Catherine Ashton. MPs proposed slapping an oil export ban on Libya and helping defecting Libyan pilots escape.