Australia tells UN: Don't let Libya be next Darfur

AP News
Posted: Mar 16, 2011 8:36 PM

Australia's foreign minister urged the U.N. Security Council not to let the crisis in Libya become another failure of the international community to save innocent people.

Australia is strongly backing a U.N.-backed no-fly zone over Libya to stop airstrikes by Moammar Gadhafi's forces against an uprising.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd cited the genocide in Rwanda and ethnic violence in the Balkans and Sudan's Darfur region as failures of the U.N. to uphold its responsibility to protect innocents.

"Let's look at the U.N. Look back to Rwanda: fail. Look back at Darfur: fail. Look back at the Balkans: partial fail," Rudd told Australian Broadcasting Corp. television Wednesday.

"I would hope the international community would learn from history, because in a month's time, two months' time, three months' time, if for whatever reason Gaddafi begins to prevail and we see the large-scale butchery of Libyan civilians, I am deeply concerned about how the international community will reflect on itself," he said.

Supporters of a no-fly zone over Libya are calling for a Security Council vote Thursday on a draft resolution put by Britain and France that aims to stop airstrikes.