UN Probes Possible War Crimes in Libya

Published on Wednesday 4th May 2011

An international prosecutor plans to brief the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday on his probe into whether members of Libya's government have committed war crimes.International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said during a recent trip to Libya he had uncovered "strong evidence" suggesting that violations had occurred since anti-government unrest erupted in February. A statement released by Ocampo's office says the prosecutor's next step could be to ask judges to issue arrest warrants against the individuals who appear to bear the "greatest responsibility " for the crimes. Pressure from Turkey Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to step down and leave the country "immediately."Erdogan said Tuesday in Istanbul that Gadhafi has chosen "blood, tears and destruction" while ignoring calls for reform. He said Mr. Gadhafi must step down to prevent the Libyan people from further suffering.Regional power Turkey has been a strong ally of the Libyan government, and it voiced opposition in March against sanctions or military intervention in the North African country.Forces loyal to Gadhafi have been clashing with rebels who are trying to maintain their hold on several cities.  Two loud blasts were heard in the capital, Tripoli, on Wednesday.  The blasts were apparently from NATO airstrikes.Contact Group meeting On Thursday, members of the 22-nation Libya Contact Group plan to meet in Rome  to explore ways to help finance Libyan rebels.  The group will also discuss possible diplomatic solutions to the crisis.The head of the rebel national council's finance committee, Ali Tarhouni, said the Libyan opposition expects France, Italy and the United States to extend billions of dollars in desperately needed credit secured against frozen Libyan state assets.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.


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