Libya: Security Council adopts resolution 1973 (2011)
On 17 March the Security Council adopted resolution 1973 (2011) which authorizes the use of force in Libya to protect civilians from attack, specifically in the eastern city of Benghazi, which Colonel Muammar Al-Qadhafi has reportedly said he will storm tonight to end a revolt against his regime.
On 16 March, the UN Secretary-General urged all parties to the conflict to accept an immediate ceasefire and abide by Security Council resolution 1970. The statement noted that the Secretary-General remains closely abreast of the situation in Libya.
The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Libya, Mr. Abdel Ilah Al-Khatib, left Libya on 16 March. He spent two days in discussions with senior Libyan officials, in which he conveyed the strong calls by the international community to cease the fighting, to ensure humanitarian access and to work towards a peaceful solution to the crisis. The Special Envoy stressed the need for a firm and unambiguous commitment on the part of the Libyan Government to immediately cease hostilities.
Also on 16 March, ICRC announced that it transferred its staff in Benghazi to the eastern city of Tobruk, where it will continue to assist victims of the conflict. ICRC expressed extreme concern about civilians, the sick and wounded, detainees and others who are entitled to protection in times of conflict. The Libyan Red Crescent Humanitarian will still carry out activities in and near Benghazi. Before leaving the area, ICRC handed over to the Red Crescent food and other essential items sufficient to cover the needs of up to 15,000 people for one month.