Peace Action joins Peace Organizations Call for Ceasefire in Libya, De-funding of U.S. Military or Intelligence Operations
Washington DC – Libyan rebels recently overtook the coastal oil refinery in Zawiyah, reportedly with assistance from NATO bombers. As U.S. surveillance drones continue to fly over Libya, a number of major national and international organizations and activists are calling for a ceasefire in U.S. military action in Libya, as well as calling on Congress to de-fund U.S. military aggression in the country. As fighting inches closer to the stronghold of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in densely-populated Tripoli, the groups are calling for a new form of engagement to save civilian lives, focusing on non-military and diplomatic solutions to the tension. In a written statement signed by 16 leading organizations and activists, the coalition says that U.S. hostilities for the purpose of regime change are not aiding Libyans, stating, “The U.S. policy of regime change first, peace later is prolonging the hostilities and adding to civilian casualties.”
“The best way in the short term to save civilian lives and in the longer term to achieve the stability in which the Libyan people can develop democratic institutions,” says the statement, “is to promote an internationally-led ceasefire and negotiations between the warring parties, provide generous humanitarian assistance, and maintain a strict arms embargo. To encourage this, we urge Congress to bar funding for any military or intelligence operations against Libya.”
With Ghaddafi having vowed to “fight to the death,” the groups believe that taking the frontlines of the Libyan rebellion to Tripoli would only increase the bloodshed in the country. They are calling for non-military forms of engagement between the U.S. and Libya.
“People are suffering in Libya due to U.S. military actions as we drop bombs that cost our nation millions per blast. Meanwhile the economy is imploding here at home, leading to the American people suffering,” said Emira Woods, Co-Director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. “It’s time to bring those war dollars home and end U.S. military aggression in Libya.”
The organizations and individuals include Africa Action, Africa Faith and Justice Network, the American Friends Service Committee, Caleb Rossiter of the Institute for Policy Studies, CODEPINK, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Foreign Policy in Focus, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Friends of the Congo, Global Exchange, Horace Campbell of Syracuse University, the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns, the New International Program of the Institute for Policy Studies, Pax Christi of Metro New York, Peace Action, and the U.S. Peace Council.