Backgrounder: Major events in development of Libyan situation

12:59, March 20, 2011      

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French warplanes and Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from U.S. and British warships and submarines attacked the Libyan capital of Tripoli and more than 20 coastal targets in Libya Saturday night to clear the way for the enforcement of a UN-mandated no-fly zone over the country.

Followings are the major events in the development of the Libyan situation:

Feb. 15: Massive protests started in Libyan cities, including in the capital Tripoli, demanding an end to the 42-year rule of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Protesters clashed with the police, resulting in casualties.

Feb. 20: Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam warned in a televised speech that Libya would face civil war if the clashes continued. He said nearly 100 people had been killed during anti-government protests in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Feb. 22: The Arab League (AL) decided to suspend Libya's participation in future AL meetings and any other derivative organizations or bodies. Many countries began to evacuate their nationals from Libya as clashes between Gaddafi's loyalists and rebels escalated in the country.

Feb. 26: The UN Security Council adopted a resolution to impose sanctions on Libya, including an arms embargo against the Libyan authorities and travel ban and asset freezes against Gaddafi and his key family members.

March 1: The 65th session of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to suspend the rights of membership of Libya in the UN Human Rights Council.

March 12: Arab League foreign ministers agreed in an emergency meeting to urge the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to protect citizens.

March 13: The Libyan government troops advanced toward Benghazi, the last stronghold of the rebels, after retaking rebel-held western city of Zawiyah and eastern cities of Bin Jawad, Ras Lanuf, Brega and Ajdabiya.

March 17: The UN Security Council adopted a resolution to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized "all necessary measures," excluding troops on the ground, to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country.

March 18: Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa declared a cease-fire and an immediate halt of all military operations. He said Libya, as a member of the United Nations, was "obliged to accept the UN Security Council's resolutions."

March 19: Leaders from some Arab countries and main Western powers gathered in Paris to discuss "all necessary measures, including military" to enforce a UN Security Council resolution that imposed a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized all necessary measures to protect Libyan civilians.

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