Do not abandon hope for peaceful resolution to Libyan crisis

On March 19, multinational forces, including France, the United Kingdom and the United States launched military strikes against Libya, which not only hit military targets, but also caused civilian casualties.

Based on the principles of the U.N. Charter as well as from the perspective of morality and international law, people have good reason to express regret over the strike on Libya, a sovereign nation.

Shockwaves caused by the first round of military action show the likelihood of a more serious escalation of armed conflict and the chances of humanitarian crisis have increased. How to stabilize the situation in Libya as soon as possible presents a test to the international community’s crisis management capabilities and wisdom to maintain a stable system of international relations.

The international community has been trying to urge the Libyan Government and the opposition to realize reconciliation through dialogue and negotiations, so that the country’s social stability and the normal order can be restored. At the end of last month, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution No. 1970, which imposed strict sanctions on Libya.

As a permanent member of U.N. Security Council and also holder of the rotating presidency this month, China has played an active and constructive role by supporting the Security Council to take appropriate and necessary actions to stabilize the situation in Libya and to stop violence against civilians as soon as possible.

For the no-fly zones over Libya proposed by some countries, China, taking the Arab countries and the African Union’s concerns and positions into consideration, did not block the Security Council Resolution No. 1973 by abstaining along with Russia and other counties, although it had serious reservations about the resolution.

On the Libyan issue, China once again insisted on consistent principles and showed the image of a responsible country. What China did can stand the test of time.

History and reality has fully proved that the use of force is not an effective way to resolve crisis. New confrontation and conflict often follow military intervention, which can quickly change a country’s regime. But stability an hardly be achieved by military intervention, which may spark a new round of turmoil in the region. In the process, civilians are always the biggest victims. No matter the military operations are executed in what names, innocent lives and destruction of wealth should not be made the cost. This is not only moral criteria but also the common voice of people around the world.

Eight years have passed between the breakout of the Iraqi War and the military strike on Libya, people may wish to turn their eyes to Tripoli and Benghazi from the villages and towns in Iraq. The bloodshed there and the miserable life the majority of Iraqis live serve not only as a mirror but also a warning.

Following the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, a military strike against Libya is the third time in this century that a number of countries wielded force against a sovereign state. It should be noted that attempts to resolve the crisis using military means affects the U.N. Charter and the norms governing international relations.

In today’s world where some people with the Cold War mentality are still keen on the use of force, people have reason to express concerns about the effects of the military action.

Stabilizing the situation in Libya demands swift and effective actions, but more tenacious efforts and dedication to resolving the crisis by peaceful means are needed. At times when the peace effort seems to come to a dead end, more courage and persistence may bring a new turn.

The international mediation for the Libyan issue has not come to an end. Special committees of the African Union have clearly expressed its opposition to any form of foreign military intervention and its commitment to find an “African solution.”

Under no circumstances should we give up the use of peaceful means to resolve the crisis, which is both accountable to the people of Libya but also responsible for the entire world.

By Zhongsheng, translated by People’s Daily Online

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