Beyond Mandate: The UNSC Resolution on No-Fly-Zone against Libya

The No-fly-zone resolution of the UN Security Council on March 18 is a most trying time for people who can see the total moral and political collapse of the UN as a world organisation expressing universalism. This resolution is slap on the face of peace, security, dignity and freedom of the Libyan people and the African Union who as African community opposed such moves against Libya. This resolution contradicts the purpose of the UN Charter itself which protects the sovereign rights of member-countries to maintain law and order within their borders. The resolution is condemnable as it also defies the objectives of the Non-Aligned Movement. The UNSC is acting as a club of a few European states, the Arab League and GCC which have shown their slavish submission to the US which is in the habit of chasing and attacking weak countries.

I condemn all those who either voted for this resolution or maintained abstention. This is a painful moment after Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. In these cases, the UN and its key players have shown their true colours, dualism and hypocrisy in taking any military action against Israel which has been murdering Palestinians and playing with their dignity and human rights. It is a shameful moment for them to have allowed the passage of a dangerous and illegitimate resolution.

Coming to the dangerous aspects of this resolution, I am perturbed over phrases and wordings deliberately crafted by the US and Zionists: 'to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian places'. This is not simply a resolution for a no-fly zone but a total approval of naked aggression against the Libyan people under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to get full freedom to bomb Libya by all means without any conditions.

It is an all out war against Libya. The “No-fly-zone” is basically meant for preventing a country's planes to use its own sovereign airspace. This resolution has been approved under the name of “no-fly-zone” but its nature is much more dangerous. The role of the Arab League and the GCC shows the poverty of minds of rulers who are most corrupt and subservient to foreign powers. Their policies are not free and their behaviour is far from that independent nations. This kind of resolution should have been passed against Israel long ago in order to protect the Palestinians from the the daily crimes of Israel which is supported and encouraged by the US.

In its weekly report (10-16 March 2011), the PCHR records the death of two Palestinians by an IOF air strike in the Gaza Strip. Two Palestinian workers were wounded in the same attack.  Three buildings on the targeted site were destroyed. Illegal Israeli settlers escalated attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties in the West Bank. PCHR documented 40 recent attacks by Israeli settlers in the West Bank.  The settlers burnt four cars and a tractor, and damaged seven vehicles. A number of Palestinian civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation fired by IOF soldiers who escorted Israeli settlers. IOF uprooted 400 olives trees in Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus. IOF continued to target Palestinian workers, farmers and fishermen in border areas in the Gaza Strip.

IOF continues to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank. IOF arrested two international human rights defenders.  IOF conducted 47 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. IOF arrested 66 Palestinian civilians, including six children. Fifty two detainees are from 'Awarta village, southeast of Nablus. Israel has continued to impose a total siege on the OPT and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world. Israel has continuously closed all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for over three years.

The illegal Israeli-imposed closure of the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem. IOF has established checkpoints in and around Jerusalem severely restricting Palestinian access to the city. Civilians are frequently prevented from praying at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. There are approximately 585 permanent roadblocks, and manned and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank.

When complete, the illegal Annexation Wall will stretch over 724 kms around the West Bank further isolating the entire Palestinian population. Stretches of 350 kms of the Wall have already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the Wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, further confiscating Palestinian land.  At least 65% of the main roads that lead to 18 Palestinian communities in the West Bank are closed or fully controlled by IOF. There are approximately 500 kms of restricted roads across the West Bank. In addition, approximately one third of the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, is inaccessible to Palestinians without a permit issued by the IOF. These permits are extremely difficult to obtain.

Certainly the UNSC resolution against Libya is not for democracy or freedom of people but for destroying it as they destroyed Iraq earlier. It will not bring freedom as we can see in Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk and Erbil where Americans are secure but not the Iraqis. Certainly it will not uphold the principle of the UN in this case as it is selective, prejudicial, unfair and obsessive imposition of the Western mindset aided and abetted by the slavish mindset of Arab rulers. It will be a precedent for a long series of violations of the international law. The role of Ban-ki-Moon is like an American bureaucrat. Today, the whole UN edifice and its chorus for nations’ freedom, unity and dignity got dissolved in the ocean of its own blunderous slavishness. Today, I have lost total faith in the UN and will not entertain any expectation from it until and unless its nature and actions change in the interests of the Mankind.

Arshi Khan is Associate Professor at Department of Political Science, Aligarh Muslim University, India and can be reached at cfsarshi[@]yahoo[.]co[.]in