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UN Security Council rues Gaddafi’s use of force on protesters

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The UN Security Council has condemned Libya’s use of force against civilians demonstrating against the  government of Col Muammar Gaddafi.

A statement read to reporters on Wednesday in New York, by Maria Viotti of Brazil, the Council’s President for the month of March, expressed “deep regret at the death of hundreds of civilians since the violent uprising began in the North African country a week ago.

The 15-nation council — including Western powers, China, India and Russia — also called for action against those responsible for the bloodshed, which has made Libya’s the deadliest of a series of popular uprisings in the region’

The members of the Security Council call on the Government of Libya to meet its responsibility to protect its population.

`They call upon the Libyan authorities to act with restraint, to respect human rights and international humanitarian law, and to allow immediate access for international human rights monitors and humanitarian agencies.’’

The Council also called on the Libyan government to address the demands of the population through national dialogue and respect the freedom of “peaceful assembly and of expression, including the press.’’

The 15-member council also urged the embattled Gaddafi-led government to immediately lift all restrictions on the media.

Human Rights Watch had earler said  that 62 people had died in clashes in Tripoli in the past two days, on top of its previous toll of 233.

The Security Council said those responsible for the attacks should be held accountable and urged Libya to ensure the safety and facilitate the departure of foreign nationals who wish to leave the country.

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