African and Arab diplomats to the United Nations have been pressuring the UN Security Council to impose severe sanctions on Libya, UN sources told Haaretz on Friday.
The 15-nation council has convened in New York to discuss the proposed sanctions resolution. Council diplomats said a vote on the resolution would most likely take place next week, though they said it was also possible over the weekend.
The timing will depend on how aggressively Russia and China -- permanent veto-wielding council members that usually oppose sanctions -- fight to dilute the proposed measures, the diplomats said on condition of anonymity.
Turkey, Brazil and Lebanon – non-permanent council members – are also expected to object proposed sanctions.
Diplomats from African and Arab countries alike have condemned Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi for his refusal to step down after his 42-year rule, and his widespread use of force against protesters.
Libya's deputy UN ambassador, Ibrahim Dabbashi, who denounced Gadhafi earlier this week, urged the UN Security Council to act immediately by imposing sanctions on Gadhafi and other Libyan leaders. He added that the Libyan leader, who has controlled the country for 42 years, would not allow himself to be taken alive.
"This is a madman and he is psychologically not stable," Dabbashi said. "He will stay until the moment he is either (killed) or he will commit suicide."
He said the situation in Libya would get worse and more corpses would pile up.
"We expect thousands to be killed today in Tripoli, so I call on all the international community to intervene now and to send a clear message to Colonel Gadhafi that he should stop the killing now," he said.
Dabbashi said the members of the Security Council were in agreement on the core of a sanctions resolution.
"I think the Security Council has the united position on the main measures to be taken," Dabbashi said in the lobby of the Manhattan building where Libya's UN mission is located.
He said the steps proposed in a French-British draft resolution -- travel bans for Gadhafi and others, freezing of financial assets, an arms embargo and referral of the crackdown against demonstrators to the International Criminal Court for possible prosecution -- would suffice for the time being.
Dabbashi said citizens of Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad and Ethiopia were among the mercenaries hired by Gaddafi to fight the rebels. He urged all African countries to stop supplying Gaddafi with soldiers.
"I want also to call on all African heads of state, I want us to ask them to stop sending any armies to help Gaddafi," he said. "Please, Libya is an African country, the Libyan people
is a brotherly country
The Libyan envoy also urged members of the Libyan military still supporting Gadhafi to defect to the rebels. He also called on all Libyan diplomats around the world to remain at their posts but to stop taking instructions from Tripoli.
"The end of the regime is there," said Dabbashi, who added he was speaking on behalf of the entire Libyan UN mission.
Speaking shortly after Gadhafi vowed defiantly to triumph over his enemies, urging his supporters in Tripoli to protect the Libyan nation and its petroleum interests, Dabbashi said "the export of oil may be stopped soon for security reasons but anyway I think it is under good control of the people and it will not be harmed."
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