Libyan opposition leaders rule out major role for foreign peacekeepers

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, May 11, 2011

From Colum Lynch, Checkpoint Washington:  Libya’s opposition leaders have ruled out any major role for foreign peacekeepers in the country after the fall of Moammar Gaddafi, insisting that a new transitional government will take the lead in establishing security, according to top U.N. officials.

The decision, which has been detailed in high-level talks involving representatives of the National Transitional Council, U.N. officials and foreign governments over the past week, reflects the opposition’s growing confidence in its ability to manage any security vacuum in the country.

The move has forced the United Nations to revise its own security plans for Libya. Before the rebels reached Tripoli last week, the U.N. leadership had approached Jordan and Turkey to see if they would head a multinational force to protect a large U.N. mission in Libya, according to officials.

The plan — which would have formed part of a cease-fire agreement — has since been scrapped, as has a proposal to deploy a small contingent of U.N. arms monitors to help control the movement of illicit arms.  (photo: Reuters)

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