SP calls for cease-fire and negotiations in Libya

22 March 2011

SP calls for cease-fire and negotiations in Libya

The SP is urging an immediate cease-fire in Libya in order that negotiations can begin and a political solution to the conflict be arrived at. The party has serious doubts about the necessity of the present bombing, as SP leader Emile Roemer explains: ‘The people of Benghazi have been saved and the American commander Admiral Mullen declared on Saturday that Libya’s anti-aircraft guns had been put out of service. Continuing with the bombing suggests that goals are in play other than an end to hostilities.’ Roemer is demanding that the government state its position on these matters as soon as possible.

Emile RoemerThe extent of violent action since Saturday evening calls into question the proportionality of the coalition’s intervention. Mission commander United States Admiral Michael Mullen announced on Sunday that the Libyan air force had been successfully put out of action. “That raises the question of why the air raids continued,” says Roemer. “The chance that this will lead to civilian casualties is huge, yet the UN resolution says that the aim is to protect Libyan civilians.” This situation leads the SP to conclude that a cease-fire must be called.

The SP supports the democratisation wave in the Arab world, including in Libya. The international community was right to intervene to protect the people of Benghazi from a massacre. A humanitarian action was justified. Now, however, we must ensure that the coalition does not become the rebels’ air force, as was the case in Kosovo in 1999. The Libyan people must be supported in finding a peaceful and democratic solution to political conflict. Only the Libyan people can reach an agreement which will lead to a peaceful future. The international community must facilitate this through a cease-fire, making diplomatic consultation possible. The Netherlands’ foreign policy must be directed at achieving this.

Under existing conditions Roemer does not believe that it would be advisable for the Netherlands to make a military contribution to the actions in Libya. “The protection of the civilian population by means of a no-fly zone is one thing, taking sides in a civil war quite another. Unfortunately it seems that these actions are turning more towards the latter.”

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