U.N. ends mandate for NATO operations in Libya

The United Nations Security Council, September 28, 2011

From Louis Charbonneau, Reuters:  The U.N. Security Council on Thursday canceled its authorization for a seven-month-old NATO military operation in Libya that led to the ouster and death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The termination of the mandate came despite a request from Libya’s interim government for the Security Council to wait until the National Transitional Council made a decision on whether it wants NATO to help it secure its borders.

The 15-nation council unanimously approved a resolution terminating the U.N. mandate, which set the no-fly zone over Libya and permitted foreign military forces, including NATO, to use "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians.

The resolution said the U.N. authorization for foreign military operations in Libya will lapse at 11:59 p.m. local Libyan time on October 31.

Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant welcomed the unanimous vote, telling reporters it "marks a really important milestone in the liberation of Libya."

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who repeatedly accused NATO of overstepping its U.N. mandate to protect civilians, also welcomed the move to end foreign military intervention in Libya. Moscow co-sponsored the resolution. . . .

The resolution does not lift the arms embargo or other U.N. sanctions on Libya that have been in place for half a year.  (photo: Getty)

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