Libyan Ambassador Denounces Gadhafi At U.N.

February 25, 2011

Bill Chappell

Members of Libya's delegation to the United Nations received hugs and words of support at an emergency session of the Security Council, after Libyan ambassador to the U.N. Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham publicly denounced Gadhafi.

"Moammar Gadhafi and his sons are telling the Libyans: 'Either I rule you, or I kill you,'" Shalgham said at the U.N.

Shalgham went on to say that in his Gadhafi's address Friday, "he came out in a speech before children who were brought from asylums, and soldiers dressed in civilian clothes, and he told them, 'I will burn Libya, I will distribute arms to the tribes. Libya will become, will turn red because of blood.'

"Is this because of glory, or is it because of the people?" Shalgham asked.

"Moammar Gadhafi cannot give a single weapon to any person in Libya," the ambassador said, "because it will be used against him."

Backing up his remarks in speaking to reporters after the session, Shalgham said that the U.N. must intervene, and impose sanctions against the Gadhafi, members of his family, and the military.

As an AP report describes, Shalgham's speech Friday represents a change of heart:

At the Security Council, Libya's U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Shalgham did an about-face and denounced Gadhafi whom he had praised on Tuesday as "my friend.'' He explained that he initially "could not believe'' Gadhafi's troops were firing on the protesters, but having seen the Libyan leader call for the protests to be put down by force, he was now urging that sanctions be imposed.

"They are asking for their freedom. They are asking for their rights. They did not throw a single stone and they were killed," Shalgham said. "I tell my brother Gadhafi: Leave the Libyans alone."

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