UN chief calls on Gaddafi’s forces to stop fighting

August 23rd, 2011 - 12:30 am ICT by IANS  

United Nations, Aug 22 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon Monday called on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces to cease violence immediately and make way for smooth transition, Xinhua reported.

“The dramatic scenes we are witnessing in Libya are testament to the courage and determination of the Libyan people to set a free and democratic future,” Ban told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.

“It is crucial now for the conflict to end with no further lose of life and retribution,” Ban said.

“I welcome the assurances given by the chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC) Mustafa Abdul Jalil that extreme care would be taken to protect people and public institutions and to maintain law and order.”

Ban said he intends to hold an urgent meeting on Libya this week among the heads of regional and international organizations, including the African Union, League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the European Union.

He said the meeting will be held either on Thursday or Friday but he has to confirm with all these organizations.

The secretary-general said his special envoy on Libya Abdel- Elah Al Khatib has been in close contact with the leadership of the NTC and will continue his efforts.

Khatib and Ban’s special advisor on post-conflict planning, Ian Martin, will travel to Doha to meet with the leadership of the NTC, he said.

Stressing that the UN stands ready to extend all possible assistance to the Libyan people, Ban said the world body is now prepared to assist in all vital areas, including security and the rule of law, social and economic recovery.

It will be crucial for the Security Council to be as responsive to post-conflict planning and needs as it has been throughout the crisis. The delivery of humanitarian aid to all those in need should also be ensured, Ban added.

“This is a hopeful moment but also there are risks ahead. Now is the time for all Libyans to focus on national unity, reconciliation, and inclusiveness,” Ban said.

“I am determined to ensure that the United Nations does everything it can to promote an orderly transition that responds to the aspirations of the Libyan people for peace, democracy and opportunity,” he said.

Libyan rebel forces took control of most of Tripoli Sunday night and were still clearing up the remnants of Gaddafi’s forces.

Residents in Tripoli flocked into the streets overnight to welcome the rebel forces, while thousands were celebrating the victory of the Libyan rebels in the opposition’s stronghold Benghazi.

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