Libyan leader asks UN to lift sanctions

AP News
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Posted: Sep 26, 2011 2:13 PM
Libyan leader asks UN to lift sanctions

The U.N. Security Council should lift some of the economic sanctions on Libya, but NATO should stay until civilians are no longer being killed, the country's de facto prime minister told council members Monday.

Mahmoud Jibril, the prime minister appointed by the former rebels' National Transitional Council, thanked the U.N. council Monday for two resolutions that established the sanctions against the Moammar Gadhafi regime and created a NATO-led no-fly zone to protect civilians earlier this year.

But Jibril said it is "imperative" that the council lift some of the asset freezes so the country can begin to rebuild infrastructure demolished during months of armed conflict, including electrical plants and schools.

NATO should only leave "when there is no killing of civilians in Libya," Jibril added.

U.N. political chief B. Lynn Pascoe told council members that Libya's interim leaders still face many challenges as they seek to restore stability.

He said Libyan leaders still need to establish control over large stocks of arms and begin working on national reconciliation.

"The spread of these weapons and the danger they could fall into the hands of terrorists are matters of grave concern," said Pascoe, the U.N. undersecretary-general for political affairs.

He said security remains fragile in some parts of the country, with pockets of fighting between pro-democracy groups and forces supporting the ousted regime of Moammar Gadhafi.

Pascoe added that the discovery of the remains of more than 1,200 people outside a Tripoli prison underscores the enormity of human rights crimes committed by the former government, and he called for the site to be secured for forensic experts.