Hague hails 'new era' for Libya

Libya has a "historic opportunity" to build a state where human rights and fundamental freedoms are protected, William Hague said as the UN voted to lift the no-fly zone.

The allied military action that began on March 17 to protect Libyan civilians will finish next Monday after a unanimous vote by the UN Security Council today.



The Foreign Secretary described the new resolution as "another significant milestone towards a peaceful, democratic future for Libya".



He said: "Ending the no-fly zone and the civilian protection provisions demonstrates that Libya has entered a new era.



"The resolution reiterates that the Libyan authorities have a duty to uphold human rights and must prevent reprisals and revenge attacks...



"This is vital; a commitment to democracy, good governance and rule of law must be at the heart of the current transitional period."



UN Security Council Resolution 2016 ends the UN authorisation for military action just before midnight on October 31, which means that Libya will regain control of its airspace and all military operations from November 1.



Mr Hague said: "We now look forward to the creation of an inclusive, representative Transitional Government in Libya and to a new era in UK-Libya relations.



"Libya has a historic opportunity to create a state where human rights are protected and all people enjoy fundamental freedoms.



"This would be a fitting tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for future generations."



His comments came after a British military chief said the UK was battling to prevent thousands of Muammar Gaddafi's deadly surface-to-air missiles ending up in "the wrong hands".



The toppled dictator is known to have invested in a large supply of man-portable air defence systems, known as manpads, and it is now feared they could flood the black market following the collapse of his regime.



Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Britain's commander of joint operations, warned there was "always a risk of proliferation of such weapons" and admitted it was not known exactly how many were out there.



Addressing the question of what arms could be used or sold on by the wrong people, he said: "We're still trying to work that out and get to the bottom of what might be there.



"We knew at the start the Gaddafi regime had invested heavily in manpads. The proliferation of portable weapons that are lethal is almost strategic in itself.



"We have to be careful about in whose hands these end up."



Britain would do whatever it could to "get these wicked things out the way", he added.



"We're on the case and we're working with the Libyan government to do something about it because these weapons in the wrong hands are lethal."



The possibility of Taliban or al Qaida members getting hold of the missiles was not ruled out.



"As far as which group or who might get them - the whole proliferation of arms is a pretty murky business," Air Marshal Peach said.



"We're taking this really seriously and will do what we can, working with our allies, to make sure this risk is not materialised."









The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it had been working since last month to try to prevent the proliferation of manpads.



A spokesman said: "A team of British experts has been working alongside Libyan and US colleagues since September to identify, secure and destroy man-portable air defence systems.



"Over 800 bunkers have already been inspected by teams across Libya and the UK has provided around £1.5 million to support this vital counter-proliferation work."



Manpads are commonly sought after by insurgent groups because of their effectiveness against attack helicopters and other aircraft used in counter-insurgency campaigns.



They are also easy to carry around and relatively straightforward to use.



Speaking at an MoD briefing on the Libya operation, Air Marshal Peach indicated that Britain's role in the north African country following the rebels' victory was yet to be determined.



The question of whether British military advisers will remain there in the future was a "policy question to be debated by the National Security Council", he said.



He went on: "It's very much now governed by the Libyan government and their request to us, which is not yet clear.



"We don't know yet what they want."



The aim of British forces throughout their involvement in Libya was to minimise the number of civilian casualties, he went on.



But he added: "To say there were none would be a big call".



Overall, however, he offered a resoundingly positive assessment of the mission.



Celebrating the successful deployment of British arms, he said: "The use of some of our weapons has been world class."

PA

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
music

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Pensions Administrator

£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery NurseI am currently...

KS2 Teacher

£21000 - £34000 per annum + Excellent rates of pay, CPD, Support : Randstad Ed...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse required for ...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album