Several international organisations and leaders have made outspoken comments condemning the leadership of Colonel Gaddafi in Libya and are already speaking of what might succeed the dictator’s regime.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said:
“I have strongly condemned, again and again, what he has done. It is totally unacceptable.
“I am sure that the international community are considering a broad range of options… the Government of Libya must meet its responsibility to protect its people…
“At this critical juncture, it is imperative that the international community maintain its unity and act together to ensure a prompt and peaceful transition.
“The reported nature and scale of the attacks on civilians are egregious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. I condemn them, loudly and without qualification. Those responsible for brutally shedding the blood of innocents must be punished.”
“Our Arab Human Development Report has consistently chronicled the need for economic, social and political reform across the region. In particular, it emphasized what we called a ‘deficit of democracy’ and the need for political leaders to address it. Now the situation has exploded onto the streets.
“The changes underway in the Middle East are historic. Whether in Libya or elsewhere, our message must be consistent and strong: no violence. The time for change is now. The United Nations stands ready to assist the people of the region in meeting the challenges of this great transition.”
The President of the European University Institute, Josep Borrell Fontelles, said:
“Through the research and teaching at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, special attention is dedicated to the relations between Europe and the Muslim-Arab world, with a particular emphasis on trans-Mediterranean relations, as well as to issues relating to migration.
“It is for this reason that I am especially concerned by the brutal repression with which Colonel Gaddafi’s dictatorship is responding to the Libyan people’s reform demands. When the death toll reaches the thousands, when a government releases its tanks and helicopters in an indiscriminate slaughter of protestors, we are contributing to a historical ignominy comparable to the events of Budapest and Tiananmen.
“I believe it therefore necessary for the EUI to raise its voice in condemnation of this brutal repression. I am gratified by the European Union’s (EU) decision to suspend negotiations on the association agreement with Libya; a country that does not form part of either the Union for the Mediterranean or the Euro-Mediterranean process. I sincerely hope that the EU’s response to the Libyan events acts as a firm support for the Libyan people’s rights, which have been violated by this brutal repression.”
Human Rights Watch has also called for greater action to safeguard refugees from Libya and to stop the violence against civilians:
“Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy should use his longstanding relationship with the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, to help protect protesters from unlawful attacks by Libyan security forces and militias.
“Italy should support an immediate EU embargo on exporting arms and security equipment to Libya. It should also support targeted sanctions, including an asset freeze and travel ban, against senior Libyan officials and military commanders found responsible for grave human rights violations.
“Italy and the EU should support the call by the UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, for an international investigation into what she characterized as “widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population [that] may amount to crimes against humanity.” The place and time to open such a UN investigation is at the UN Human Rights Council’s special session in Geneva on February 25 to address the human rights crisis in Libya.”
The Arab League suspended Libya from its membership on Wednesday 23rd February 2011, instructing the country to halt violence against civilians and reinstate media access.