Libya declares immediate ceasefire after UN resolution
Libya will immediately halt all military operations in compliance with a new United Nations Security Council resolution, Foreign Minister Mussa Kussa said on Friday. Rebels fighting against the regime have dismissed the announcement as a “bluff”.
Libya is a member of the UN and therefore obliged to accept its resolutions, Kussa told a press conference in Tripoli.
“Libya has decided an immediate ceasefire and an immediate halt to all military operations,” he announced.
The move is designed to "protect civilians", according to Kussa.
Rebel spokesperson Khalifa Heftir said opponents of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi did not believe in the ceasefire.
“Kadhafi does not speak any truth… All the world knows that Moamer Kadhafi is a liar,” Heftir told a press conference.
The foreign minister’s statement contradicts Kadhafi himself, who told Portuguese state television that the Security Council had “no mandate” for such a resolution, “which we absolutely do not recognise”.
The UN’s charter “does not permit interference in the domestic affairs” of a country, Kadhafi said.
So far Belgium, Britain, France, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Qatar and the United States have promised to help enforce a no-fly zone over Libya.
The operation is expected to begin shortly. Britain will move fighter jets, air-to-air refuelling and surveillance aircraft to bases near Libya in the "coming hours", Prime Minister David Cameron said after a morning cabinet meeting.
Nato ambassadors are meeting later on Friday to decide what action the alliance will take in the light of the UN resolution.
And on Saturday, top-level representatives from the European Union, Arab League and African Union will attend an emergency summit on Libya in Paris.