NATO has responded to criticism over its actions in Libya, following demands by Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin that claims of civilian deaths caused by NATO air-strikes should be examined. NATO immediately defended its actions on Tuesday, stating it fulfilled its remit to save lives.
reported that NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu said
"We took every precaution to minimize the risk to civilians with solid intelligence, a very strict target selection and precision-guided munitions. And we repeatedly warned civilians to stay away from military installations and equipment.”
She added “Our mission for Libya saved countless lives and we have regularly informed the United Nations on its conduct in full compliance with UNSCR 1973.”
Just one week ago U.N. General Secretary Bin Ki-Moon also sprung to the defence of NATO concerning the Libya mission. This followed repeated accusations by the BRICS nations that NATO had overstepped its remit of protecting civilians through a no fly zone and openly took sides in a civil war, assisting the rebels to overthrow the existing sovereign regime of Col. Muammar Gaddafi. Ban insisted that regime change was achieved through the efforts of the Libyan people rather than the intervention of NATO.
According to Reuters
"Security Council resolution 1973, I believe, was strictly enforced within the limit, within the mandate," Ban told reporters in New York. "This military operation done by the NATO forces was strictly within (resolution) 1973."
Lungescu claims it is up to the new Libyan authorities to investigate any claims of civilian casualties during the civil war. However, the authorities have expressed their disinterest in war crimes unless allegedly committed by Gaddafi loyalists, by continuing to ignore the atrocities
that are still being committed by former NATO-backed rebels. Notably there is no NATO intervention to prevent the ongoing murder and torture of civilians in post-war Libya.