The United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York on April 16, 2010. Photo by Reuters
Text size
related tags

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously voted on Saturday to impose sanctions on Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, his five adult children and top associates, in the wake of Libya's violent crackdown of anti-government protests.

Voting after a day of discussions - interrupted at times for consultations with home capitals - council members agreed on Saturday to freeze the assets of Gadhafi, his four sons and one daughter, and to ban travel by the whole family plus 10 close associates.

All 15 nations on the council ultimately approved referring the case to the permanent war crimes tribunal.

The council demanded an "immediate end to the violence and for steps to address the legitimate demands of the population" in Libya.

It called for Libyan authorities to act "with restraint, respect human rights and international humanitarian law," and facilitate immediate access for international human rights monitors.

The council called for an immediate lifting of restrictions "on all forms of media" and for the safety of foreign nationals to be assured and their departure facilitated.

Under the arms embargo, UN members will take immediate and necessary measures to "prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Libya ... of arms and related material of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment."

Libya would be prohibited from importing all arms and related material and all UN members should prevent their nationals from exporting them.

The day was consumed mainly with haggling behind closed doors over language to refer Libya's violent crackdown on protesters to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible crimes against humanity.

One sticking point in discussions on the draft earlier in the day had been the provision to refer to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Libya's "widespread and systematic" attacks on civilian protesters, which amounted to crimes against humanity.

China and apparently other members opposed the reference to the ICC, delaying the completion of the draft. Diplomats said a compromise had kept the ICC reference in the draft, but the said referral would not be undertaken immediately.

The UN estimates more than 1,000 protesters have been killed by forces loyal to Gadhafi since pro-democracy demonstrations erupted on February 15, emulating the events in Tunisia and Egypt, which ended with the overthrow of presidents who had held power for decades.