In a week of extraordinary developments, the Libyan rebels moved quickly on Tripoli and gained control of most of the city, with pockets of resistance continuing from Gaddafi loyalists. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International urged both sides to protect civilians as fighting consumed the cpaital. Muammar Gaddafi (and much of his family) remains at large and defiant towards the rebel gains, and fighting continuedin Sirte today.Despite the continued fighting, the National Transitional Council (NTC) began its move from Benghazi to Tripoli to begin the transition process and assume governance responsibilities. The UN Security Council approved a US-led proposal to unfreeze $1.5 Billion (US) this week, beginning the process of re-building the country in the post-Gaddafi era. The Arab League also officially backed the rebels as Libya’s new authority.
Between Monday and Tuesday of this week, the UN Human Rights Council held a Special Session on Syria to investigate the ongoing human rights violations as a result of the OHCHR report issued last week that suggested the government’s crackdown may amount to crimes against humanity. A resolution was subsequently adopted at the Session condemning the systematic violations committed by the Syrian authorities and demanding for the government to immediately halt these violations and protect the Syrian population.
The HRC also decided to dispatch a commission of inquiry to investigate human rights violations in Syria, and has said the death toll has now surpassed 2,200.
Despite increased diplomatic condemnation, the Assad regime continued its crackdown. Protesters remained defiant today, flooding the streets today despite being fired on by Syrian security forces. The opposition is Syria has reportedly formed a National Council, and, for the first time in the months-long uprising against the Assad regime, opposition activists have called for assistance from the United Nations in their struggle.
The UN Security Council was expected to discuss additional sanctions on the Assad regime, however it seems that Russia and China, among others currently sitting on the Council, do not favour this approach to confront the Assad regime.
The Satellite Sentinel Project released a report on Thursday that confirmed its initial findings of mass graves in Kadugli, Southern Kordofan. While initially controversial, the Editor’s Note of the report states, “What should no longer be debated, however, is that these alleged crimes,
including mass killing and subsequent mass burial of the dead, have happened and continue to occur.”
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) decided to deploy peacekeepers to the troubled Jonglei state to help deter recurring violence.