February 26, 2011-2220 DST
The UN Security Council passed a unanimous resolution on February 26 imposing sanctions on the Qaddafi regime freezing assets of the beleaguered ruler and his close associates as well as referring him to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague for war crimes.
The Security Council vote came following request by Libyan diplomats at the UN urging it to intervene and protect the people of Libya from this "fascist regime". Ibrahim Dabbashi, deputy head of Libya's UN mission in New York, told a press conference after the vote that he had urged the international community to take steps to prevent the massacre of the people.
A day earlier, the Libyan head of mission, in an emotional appeal to the Security Council, urged it to take immediate steps to save the Libyan people. He narrated his close connection with colonle Muammar Qaddafi describing him as a childhood friend but he said now he had become insane. After he addressed the council, many delegates hugged him.
On Friday (Feb 25) there were serious clashes in Tripoli, the capital city, on Friday where colonel Qaddafi still has some supporters, such as the militias and foreign mercenaries hired to defend his regime. The city was reportedly relatively calm on Saturday (Feb 26), according to the BBC.
Meanwhile, it was announced by opponents of Qaddafi's regime that Mustafa Mohamed Abdel Jalil, the justice minister who resigned in protest over the killing of civilians by the regime, was prepared to form a provisional government to prepare the country for elections within three months.
In Washington, US President Barack Obama said after talking to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the phone that Qaddafi should resign and "leave the country". He did not say where Qaddafi might go but it would certainly not be to Washington.
But as Marwan Bishara, writing on Al Jazeera website pointed out, Qaddafi insists he holds no formal position so there is nothing to resign from. Further, "you cannot resign from greatness"!
Qaddafi has always been known for his eccentricity but in the current crisis that threatens to bring down his 42-year-rule, he seems to have gone overboard. He has urged his supporters to arm themselves and kill his opponents. Despite many military personnel defecting to the opposition, Qaddafi's position is not dependent on their support. He relies on the "popular committees" and the militias he has formed for his protection.
This has led observer to surmise that Libya may be plunged into a civil war. The next few days will tell whether Qaddafi will spare his people more bloodshed or he will go down in history as the man who brought nothing but ruin to the Libyan people.