Below is a clip from a press release discussing a recent NGO statement calling for ceasefire in Libya. AFJN was instrumental in the creation of this statement in its work with ADNA, among others, to come together in one voice and demand a peaceful, political solution to what has become a violent stalemate.
Major National Organizations Call for Ceasefire in Libya, De-funding of U.S. Military and Intelligence Operations
Washington DC – Libyan rebels recently overtook the coastal oil refinery in Zawiyah, reportedly with assistance from NATO bombers. As U.S. surveillance drones and NATO bombs continue to fly over Libya, a number of major national organizations and activists are calling for an end to U.S. military action in Libya, as well as calling on Congress to de-fund U.S. military and intelligence activities in the country. As fighting inches closer to the stronghold of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in densely-populated Tripoli, the groups are calling for a new form of engagement to save lives, focusing on non-military and diplomatic solutions to the tension. In a written statement signed by 16 leading organizations and activists, the coalition says that U.S. hostilities for the purpose of regime change are not aiding Libyans, stating, “The U.S. policy of regime change first, peace later is prolonging the hostilities and adding to civilian casualties.”
“The best way in the short term to save civilian lives and in the longer term to achieve the stability in which the Libyan people can develop democratic institutions,” says the statement, “is to promote an internationally-led ceasefire and negotiations between the warring parties, provide generous humanitarian assistance, and maintain a strict arms embargo. To encourage this, we urge Congress to bar funding for any military or intelligence operations against Libya.”
With Qaddafi having vowed to “fight to the death,” and the Libyan opposition forces moving closer to Tripoli, casualties are likely to continue to rise. The organizations stress the urgent need for a negotiated, rather than military, solution, and an immediate end to U.S.-NATO military involvement.
“People are suffering through a civil war in Libya in which NATO is intimately involved. Our military engagement is costing money we can’t afford here at home,” said Emira Woods, Co-Director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. “It’s time to bring those war dollars home and end U.S. military aggression in Libya.”