Tuesday, March 22

Libya Declares Cease-Fire After UN Vote for No-Fly Zone

A cease-fire was declared by the Libyan government of Moammar Gadhafi, shortly after it was announced that the UN was prepared to actively enforce a newly approved no-fly zone over Libya. The purpose of the no-fly zone was to protect Libyan citizens from Pro-Gadhafi forces who had been routing them as of late. After early gains by the rebels in their uprising against Gadhafi, government forces rebounded strongly and took back many of the positions established by the rebels during the early days of the uprising.

Because of tribal breakdowns, Libya's population is not quite as unified in their beliefs as other countries, like Egypt and Tunisia. As a result, fighting often breaks out among the disparate groups and a coordinate uprising is a difficult logistical challenge.

As NATO forces awaited orders to enforce the Libyan no-fly zone, Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa announced that Libya is stopping all military operations and has declared a cease-fire. It's difficult to predict exactly what that will mean for the situation on the ground, considering that a fairly large rebel force has amassed to do battle with Libyan government forces.

By essentially siding with the rebel forces in its announcement of a no-fly zone, the UN has placed itself in a somewhat difficult position. Will the UN step in if rebel forces once again begin taking control of Libyan ports and cities by means of violence? Will western powers expert pressure on Gadhfi to step down or provide incentives for him to do so? All of this remains to be answered as the Libyan crisis enters a new phase

"Shortly after the United Nations approved enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya, Moammar Gadhafi's forces declared a cease-fire."

By Buzzle Staff and Agencies
Published: 3/18/2011

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