Wednesday, 10 June 2015

UN Lockerbie sanctions against Libya crumble

[It was on this date in 1998 that the Organization of African Unity adopted a resolution stating that as from September 1998 its member states would no longer comply with the United Nations Security Council’s regime of sanctions against Libya for its failure to hand over the Lockerbie bombing suspects for trial in the United Kingdom or the United States because of these two countries' intransigence over neutral state trial proposals that had been accepted by Libya. It was this resolution, along with similar ones from other international organizations such as the Arab League, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement, that finally, ten weeks later, induced the UK and USA grudgingly to accept a neutral venue solution to the impasse. The OAU resolution reads as follows:]

The Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, meeting in its Thirty-fourth Ordinary Session in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 8-10 June 1998,
Taking note of the Secretary-General’s Report on the dispute,
Having heard the report of the OAU Committee of Five following its mission to Britain and meeting with the British Foreign Secretary,
Expressing profound gratitude to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the position it has adopted and the positive initiatives it has taken in order to resolve the dispute peacefully,
Welcoming the Judgement announced by the International Court of Justice on 27 February 1998 confirming its competence to look into the dispute,
Welcoming also the positive response of the families of victims to the efforts aimed at the speedy settlement of the dispute,
Expressing its deep concern over immense human and material losses to the Libyan people and nationals of other OAU Member States,
Expressing its regret for lack of positive response by the United States of America and the United Kingdom to the International and Regional Initiatives and efforts aimed at finding a solution to the dispute based on the principles of the international law and within the framework of understanding and constructive dialogue:
1. CALLS UPON the Security Council to adopt a resolution on suspending the sanctions imposed on Libya under Resolutions 748 (1992) and 883 (1993) until the International Court of Justice pronounces its verdict on the issue;
2. DECIDES not to comply any longer with Security Council Resolutions 748 (1992) and 883 (1993) on sanctions, with effect from September 1998, if the United States of America and the United Kingdom refuse that the two suspects be tried in a third neutral country pursuant to the verdict of the International Court of Justice by July 1998, date on which the sanctions will be due for review, owing to the fact that the said resolutions violate Article 27 paragraph 3, Article 33 and Article 36 paragraph 3 of the United Nations Charter, and the considerable human and economic losses suffered by Libya and a number of other African peoples as a result of the sanctions;
3. DECIDES on moral and religious grounds and with immediate effect that the OAU and its members will not comply from now on with the sanctions imposed against Libya related to religious obligations, providing humanitarian emergencies or fulfilling OAU statutory obligations;
4. ENJOINS the OAU Committee of Five to continue its task;
5. MANDATES the Secretary-General to monitor implementation of this resolution and to submit a report thereupon to the next Session of the Council.

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