EU must put pressure on to end violence in Libya

21 February 2011

EU must put pressure on to end violence in Libya

SP leader Emile Roemer has reacted with horror and disgust to reports that Libyan armed forces have opened fire on demonstrators. ‘This is a terrible crime to commit against your own people and must not go unanswered,’ he said. 'Bombing and shooting your own people with heavy armaments, including the air force, is a war crime. Premier Rutte must do all in his power at European level and in the world to have immediate sanctions imposed on Gaddafi’s regime.'

A Libyan war plane lands in Malta
A Libyan war plane lands in Malta. According to the Times of Malta, the pilot had fled the country because he hadn’t been willing to open fire on his own people. Photo: AFP/ Ben Borg Cardona

Numerous international media sources have reported that heavy munitions have been used in Tripoli, with hundreds dead as a result. An eye witness has reported that all of Tripoli’s neighbourhoods have been bombed. Other witnesses speak of shooting from helicopters and land-cruisers. Two air force pilots fled to Malta because they refused to fire on demonstrators in Bengazi , which they were ordered to do from a height of 500 metres. Television pictures clearly show the shells of heavy munitions.

The SP is urging the EU to bring immediate pressure to bear to put an end to the violence. “The EU must get behind the Libyan people, and right away,” said Roemer. “Understandings arrived at in negotiations between the European Union and Libya over an Association Agreement must be put in abeyance. If the violence does not stop immediately, we must suspend imports of oil and gas from Libya.”

You are here