| UNITED NATIONS/KUALA LUMPUR
UNITED NATIONS/KUALA LUMPUR Feb 22 Libyan
diplomats at the United Nations and several countries broke
ranks with the country's leader Muammar Gaddafi, urging on
Tuesday foreign nations to help stop what many called the
slaughter of anti-government protesters.
Gaddafi's forces have cracked down fiercely on demonstrators
demanding an end to his 41-year rule, with fighting spreading to
the capital Tripoli after erupting in Libya's oil-producing east
last week. Human rights groups say at least 233 people have been
Ali al-Essawi, Libya's ambassador to India who resigned his
post in protest at the violent crackdown, told Reuters he was
beseeching global powers to help his people, who he said were
being killed by mercenaries and air force strikes.
"Libyans cannot do anything against the air fighters. We do
not call for international troops, but we call on the
international community to save the Libyans," Essawi said,
looking nervous and agitated in a New Delhi hotel room where he
is staying after leaving the embassy.
"I call on the five permanent members of the (United
Nations) Security Council. Now is the time to be fair and honest
to protect the Libyan people."
He also said several members of the military had defected
because of they could not "see foreigners killing Libyans".
The U.N. Security Council was due to hold a closed-door
meeting at 1400 GMT to discuss the situation in Libya, at the
request of Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya's deputy ambassador to the
United Nations who also withdrew his support for Qaddafi,
denouncing him as a "tyrant."
Libya's embassy in Malaysia also condemned Gaddafi's
crackdown on the protesters, calling it "barbaric and criminal"
after the mission in Kuala Lumpur was briefly occupied by around
The protesters smashed a portrait of Gaddafi and hauled down
the country's flag to replace it with what they said was a
pre-Gaddafi flag. There were no clashes during the occupation
and no arrests and the protesters left the embassy grounds
"We can no longer express how angry we are. The Libyan
people have already said 'no' and they reply with bloodshed,"
said Marwa Mastor, one of the protesters in Kuala Lumpur.
Osama Ahmed, a counsellor at the embassy, told Reuters that
the ambassador here would remain in place to help around 5,000
Libyans living in Malaysia.
Libya's ambassador to the United States told the BBC in
Washington on Monday he was also withdrawing support for
Gaddafi, but stopped short of resigning.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Libyan mission to the
United Nations called on "the officers and soldiers of the
Libyan army wherever they are and whatever their rank is ... to
organize themselves and move towards Tripoli and cut the snake's
It appealed to the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone
over Libyan cities to prevent mercenaries and weapons being
Asked if the Libyan government had reacted to the statement,
Dabbashi told reporters: "I don't care that much about the
reaction of the government, I think practically there is no
"I think it is a one-man show. It is a kind of end of the
game, and he (Gaddafi) is trying to kill as much as he can from
the Libyan people and try to destroy as much as he can from the
Gaddafi visited the United Nations in September 2009,
delivering a rambling address of more than 90 minutes to the
annual General Assembly gathering of world leaders.
(Additional reporting by Henry Foy in New Delhi and Razak
Ahmad in Kuala Lumpur; Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by