UN imposes sanctions on Gaddafi

The UN Security Council unanimously imposed travel and asset sanctions on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and close aides, ratcheting up pressure on him to quit before any more blood is shed in a popular revolt against his rule.

It also adopted an arms embargo and called for the deadly crackdown against anti-Gaddafi protesters to be referred to the International Criminal Court for investigation and possible prosecution of anyone responsible for killing civilians.



The 15-nation council passed the resolution hours after Gaddafi's police abandoned parts of the capital Tripoli to the revolt that has swept Libya and the United States bluntly told him he must go.



In the oil-rich east around the second city of Benghazi, freed a week ago by a disparate coalition of people power and defecting military units, a former minister of Gaddafi announced the formation of an "interim government" to reunite the country.



To the west in Tripoli, the 68-year-old Brother Leader's redoubt was shrinking. Reuters correspondents found residents in some neighbourhoods of the capital barricading their streets and proclaiming open defiance after security forces melted away.



Western leaders, their rhetoric emboldened by evacuations that have sharply reduced the number of their citizens stranded in the oilfields and cities of the sprawling desert state, spoke out more clearly to say Gaddafi's 41-year rule must now end.



"When a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now," an aide to U.S. President Barack Obama said of phone talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over Libya.



U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the Security Council measures against Gaddafi and 15 other Libyans, including members of his family, were "biting sanctions" and that all those who committed crimes would be held to account.



"Those who slaughter civilians will be held personally accountable," Rice told the council after the vote. Speaking to reporters later, she praised the council's "unity of purpose".



The death toll from 10 days of violence in Libya is estimated by diplomats at about 2,000.



Talk of possible military action by foreign governments remained vague, however. It was unclear how long Gaddafi, with some thousands of loyalists - including his tribesmen and military units commanded by his sons - might hold out against rebel forces comprised of youthful gunmen and mutinous soldiers.



London-based Algerian lawyer Saad Djebbar, who knows a large number of Gaddafi's top officials, said that for Gaddafi staying in power had become impossible.



"It's about staying alive. (Gaddafi's) time is over," he said. "But how much damage he will cause before leaving is the question."





TRIBAL LOYALTIES



One key element in the opposition's efforts to unseat him may be tribal loyalties, always a factor in the desert nation of six million and one which Gaddafi, despite official rhetoric to the contrary, tended to reinforce down the years.



His former justice minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud Ajleil, now gone over to the opposition in Benghazi, was quoted by the online edition of the Quryna newspaper as saying that an interim government, whose status remained unclear, would "forgive" his large Gaddadfa tribe for "crimes" committed by the leader.



Such declarations may be intended to erode Gaddafi's efforts to rally supporters into a do-or-die defence of the old guard.



Some of those closest to Gaddafi have been deserting him and joining the opposition. On Saturday, Libya's envoy to the United States told Reuters he backed Abud Ajleil's caretaker team - though it was unclear how much popular support that would have.



One of Gaddafi's sons, London-educated Saif al-Islam, again appeared on television on Saturday to deny that much of Libya was in revolt. But he also said: "What the Libyan nation is going through has opened the door to all options, and now the signs of civil war and foreign interference have started."



Gaddafi, once branded a "mad dog" by Washington for his support of militant groups worldwide, has been embraced by the West in recent years in return for renouncing some weapons programmes and, critically, for opening up Libya's oilfields.



While money has flowed into Libya, many people, especially in the long-restive and oil-rich east, have seen little benefit and, inspired by the popular overthrow of veteran strongmen in Tunisia and Egypt, on either side of their country, they rose up to demand better conditions and political freedoms.



Particular condemnation has been reserved for aerial bombing by government forces and for reported indiscriminate attacks by Gaddafi loyalists and mercenaries on unarmed protesters.



"Gaddafi is the enemy of God!" a crowd chanted on Saturday in Tajoura, a poor neighbourhood of Tripoli, at the funeral of a man they said was shot down by Gaddafi loyalists the day before.



Now, residents said, those security forces had disappeared.



Locals had erected barricades of rocks and palm trees across rubbish-strewn streets, and graffiti covered many walls. Bullet holes in the walls of the houses bore testimony to the violence.



The residents, still unwilling to be identified for fear of reprisals, said troops fired on demonstrators who tried to march from Tajoura to central Green Square overnight, killing at least five people. The number could not be independently confirmed.



Libyan state television again showed a crowd chanting their loyalty to Gaddafi in Tripoli's Green Square on Saturday. But journalists there estimated their number at scarcely 200.





REVOLT CLOSES IN



From Misrata, a major city 200 km (120 miles) east of Tripoli, residents said by telephone that a thrust by forces loyal to Gaddafi, operating from the local airport, had been rebuffed with bloodshed by the opposition.



"There were violent clashes last night and in the early hours of the morning near the airport," one resident, Mohammed, told Reuters. "An extreme state of alert prevails in the city."



He said several mercenaries from Chad had been detained by rebels in Misrata. The report could not be verified but was similar to accounts elsewhere of Gaddafi deploying fighters brought in from African states where he has long had allies.



Protesters in Zawiyah, an oil refining town on the main coastal highway 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, have fought off government forces for several nights.



At Tripoli's international airport, thousands of desperate foreign workers besieged the main gate trying to leave the country as police used batons and whips to keep them out.



Britain and France followed the United States in closing their embassies. Britain sent in air force troop carriers to take some 150 oil workers out of camps in the desert.



Libya supplies 2 percent of the world's oil, the bulk of it from wells and supply terminals in the east. The prospect of it being shut off - as well as speculation that the unrest in the Arab world could spread to the major exporters of the Gulf - has pushed oil prices up to highs not seen in over two years.



Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environmentGardeners rally round the endangered bumblebee
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
musicBest exclusives coming to an independent record shop near you this Record Store Day
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit