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NATO Vote Officially Ends Military Mission in Libya

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By Brendan Giusti, Christian Post Reporter
October 28, 2011|9:37 am

NATO member states unanimously voted Friday to end the military mission in Libya on October 31.

The move comes one day after the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to end NATO’s authorization for the use of force in the north African nation.

The seven-month operation included a no-fly zone and other military measures as Libyan rebels waged a battle to oust former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The move by NATO was expected after the U.N. vote Thursday effectively removed the group’s legal authority to carry out air strikes in Libya.

The votes by both multi-nation organizations, however, does not mean the ordeal is over in Libya.

Individual countries could continue to provide security help and border protection to Libya’s interim government, NATO officials said.

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There still are three days left before NATO officially ends its mission.

"Until then, together with our partners, we will continue to monitor the situation,” said NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. “And if needed, we will continue to respond to threats to civilians.”

The country still needs to build a permanent government, rule of law and improve the nation’s security, according to officials.

It is unclear what nations, if any, will help rebuild Libya and assist in the country’s transition into a more democratic nation.

NATO officials will continue to watch the situation, despite the recent vote.

“NATO stands ready to help, if needed and requested,” Fogh Rasmussen said.

The mission, which included air strikes and sea patrols, was called a success by NATO officials.

There were no reported NATO casualties and few civilian deaths, according to reports. NATO forces engaged in nearly 10,000 air strikes during the campaign.

The votes by the U.N. and NATO, among other things, will ease restrictions formerly imposed on Libya.

Assets are expected to be unfrozen and restrictions on the country’s central bank and other economic institutions are expected to be loosened. The ban on international flights by registered Libyan planes will also be lifted at the end of the month.

 

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