Increasing civilian casualties in the conflict between Libya’s government forces and freedom fighters has led observers to classify Libya as the next Sudan. Authorities say the situation in the oil-rich North African nation demands the international community to intervene and save innocent civilians.
Speaking out against doing nothing to protect the killing of non-combatants, Australian foreign Minister Kevin Rudd reminded the world of the genocide in
Rwanda and ethnic violence in Sudan’s Darfur and Bosnia Herzegovina as failures of the U.N. to uphold its responsibility to protect innocent citizens.
“Let’s look at the U.N. Look back to Rwanda: fail. Look back at Darfur: fail. Look back at the Balkans: partial fail. 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,” Rudd said in a televised broadcast on Wednesday.
The comparison of Libya to Sudan’s Darfur comes as Gaddafi forces prepare for a campaign to bombard Benghazi, the opposition’s de facto capital in the east, an urban center, barring all civilian lives.
Urging the international community to avoid Libya from slipping into a Darfur-like situation, Australia is strongly backing a U.N.-backed no-fly zone over Libya to stop air strikes by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces against Libya’s freedom fighters.
Britain and France are calling for the UN Security Council to vote on a draft resolution that implements a no-fly zone over Libya but the U.S, Russia and Germany remain indecisive.
Associated Press reported that Gaddafi’s troops sent in a stream of truckloads of ammunition, rockets and supplies to strengthen the Libyan leader to regain control of the country.
Libyans protesting against the ruler who has ruled with an iron fist for more than four decades have begun to voice anger and frustration at the West for not coming to their aid as government troops shelled the last main protesters stronghold near the capital Tripoli.
“People are fed up. They are waiting impatiently for an international move. What Gaddafi is doing, he is exploiting delays by international community. People are very angry that no action is being taken against Gaddafi’s weaponry,” Saadoun al-Misrati, a rebel spokesman told the AP.
So far, a powerful Gaddafi militia advancing from the west has been persistently bombarding rebel cities, raining rockets and artillery and tank shells, in total disregard of its innocent civilian population.