UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday condemned the use of force against peaceful demonstrators in Libya and called for those responsible for such attacks to be held to account.
The call, clearly targeted principally at Libya’s rulers, came in a statement agreed by the 15-nation council after a day of debate on the clashes in the North African country.
Expressing grave concern at the situation in Libya and the deaths of hundreds of civilians, the council called for an immediate end to violence and “steps to address the legitimate demands of the population, including through national dialogue.”
It urged the Libyan authorities to act with restraint, respect human rights and grant immediate access to rights monitors and aid agencies. Libya’s government should respect freedom of assembly, of expression and of the press, it added.
“The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of accountability. They underscored the need to hold to account those responsible for attacks, including by forces under their control, on civilians,” the statement said.
The statement came hours after a defiant Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s leader, vowed to crush a growing revolt which has seen eastern regions break free of his 41-year rule and brought deadly unrest to the capital, Tripoli.
Reporting by Patrick Worsnip; editing by Mohammad Zargham