U.N. Resolution Would Create U.N. Mission in Libya

The Security Council is considering a new resolution that would establish a U.N. mission in Libya, unfreeze assets of two major oil companies and lift a ban on flights by Libyan aircraft, according to a copy obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Britain circulated the draft resolution to the 15-member council Tuesday night and Western diplomats said they are hoping for a vote by the end of the week. Diplomats said the U.S. and France were involved in the drafting, and veto-wielding Russia and China agreed to the draft.

The proposed resolution would modify the arms embargo imposed on Muammar Qaddafi's regime to allow the rebel movement now controlling the country to buy arms "intended solely for security or disarmament assistance." It would also allow small arms, light weapons and related materiel into the country to protect U.N., humanitarian and diplomatic personnel.

Under the proposed draft, the no fly zone imposed in March after Qaddafi launched his crackdown on regime opponents would remain in place but be kept under review.

The ban on all flights by aircraft registered in Libya, or owned or operated by Libyan companies or Libyan citizens, would be lifted.

The draft resolution would also lift the asset freeze on the Libyan National Oil Corporation and Zueitina Oil Company and modify the asset freeze on the Central Bank of Libya, the Libyan Foreign Bank, the Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio. But it would retain the asset freeze and travel ban against Qaddafi and key family members and regime supporters.

The National Transitional Council, established by the rebels who ended Qaddafi's 42-year rule and sent the former dictator into hiding, has asked the United Nations for assistance as it struggles to establish a government.

The proposed resolution calls for the establishment of a United Nations Support Mission in Libya for an initial period of three months to assist the new government in restoring security and the rule of law, promoting national reconciliation and embarking on the process of writing a constitution and preparing for elections.

It would reaffirm the U.N.'s lead in international efforts supporting the Libyan-led transition and rebuilding process "aimed at establishing a democratic, independent and united Libya."

The draft would also authorize U.N. assistance in extending the new government's authority throughout the country and in starting economic recovery.

Both Qaddafi loyalists and rebel fighters have been accused of human rights abuses during the six-month conflict.

Although Qaddafi's forces committed more crimes, people with dark skin in rebel-run Tripoli -- even Libyans -- are still at risk because Qaddafi is known to have recruited soldiers from sub-Saharan Africa.

The draft resolution would strongly condemn all human rights violations and authorize the U.N. to help the new government "protect human rights particularly for those belonging to vulnerable groups."

It would also note the Security Council's decision in February to refer Libya to the International Criminal Court. The court's prosecutor has charged Qaddafi along with his son Seif al-Islam and the regime's intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Sanoussi with unleashing a campaign of murder and torture since February that aimed to wipe out anti-government protests.