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Forty-Two Years of Hell

Remarks to Libyan-Canadian Community
Hon. David Kilgour
Parliament Hill, Ottawa
9 April 2011

Thank you for bringing your concerns about Libya to Parliament Hill.

One of you mentioned yesterday that she was recently on the phone to family in Tripoli. They were scared and simply overwhelmed by the long weeks of Gadhafi-created mayhem in the capital. Misery and suffering are now everywhere across the country. The world knows that many residents of, for example, Benghazi would have been slaughtered—hunted from door-to door as “rats” according to Gadhafi himself —if NATO aircraft had not attacked his mostly hired-to-kill mercenaries advancing on the city.

The U.N.-adopted and Canada-proposed doctrine of Responsibility-to-Protect (R2P), applicable when regimes turn on their own citizens, is being severely tested across Libya. We must be successful against a brutal regime which is almost universally-condemned.

All Canadians join with you in mourning the loss of lives in this conflict, including those presumably caused by NATO pilot error in recent and earlier days.

It seems clear that if Gadhafi keeps power in Tripoli he will seek to revert to his ‘mad dog’ role in the Lockerbie bombing and much other international terrorism of earlier years. A way must be found under Security Council resolution 1970 to continue to protect Libyans and to maintain pressure on those around Gadhafi to remove him. As you know, Gadhafi insists that his people “love” him and refuses to take responsibility for his crimes. The E.U., U.S., U.N. Security Council and other governments are now pushing Gadhafi and his sons and other cronies to go.

The EU — whose members have had strong trade ties with Libya — adopted sanctions, including an arms embargo. Italy has suspended a nonaggression treaty with Libya. France has sent medical aid. Germany has proposed suspending all Libyan financial transactions with European banks. The Americans have closed their embassy in Tripoli and imposed unilateral sanctions, already freezing $30 billion in assets. Secretary Clinton said Washington was making contacts with the rebels to “offer any kind of assistance”. Both are presumably intended to get Libyan military leaders in Tripoli to rethink their allegiance to the regime.

Luis Moreno-Ocampos, the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, has said that he is "100 percent" certain members of Gadhafi’s regime, no doubt including him, his sons and others still in the inner circle, will face charges of ‘crimes against humanity’. He also said that they could be guilty of ‘war crimes’ , a separate category, if they attacked civilians in the city of Benghazi.Your browser may not support display of this image. Your browser may not support display of this image.

Thank you, M.C Safiah, for letting me speak early in the program. Sorry to rush off, but I have a flight to Brussels, where there is a meeting on democracy in the European Parliament. A number of us will be bringing up what democrats across the world need to do to support the citizens in Libya and across North Africa and the Middle East.

Thank you / Merci.

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