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[UPDATE] Obama: Ruler Gadhafi Must Leave Libya

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

[UPDATE] 2-26 9:35 PM--

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously to impose sanctions on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi,
his five adult children and top associates.

Voting after a day of discussions -- interrupted at times for consultations with home capitals -- council members agreed on Saturday to freeze the assets of Gadhafi, his four sons and one daughter, and to ban travel by the whole family plus 10 close associates.

The day was consumed mainly with haggling behind closed doors over language to refer Libya's violent crackdown on protesters to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible crimes against humanity.

All 15 nations on the council ultimately approved referring the case to the permanent war crimes tribunal.

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[UPDATE] 2-26 5:19 PM --

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States has revoked visas for senior Libyan officials and their immediate family members as a further sanction to hold the government accountable for its attacks on opponents.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the U.S. won't accept any new applications from top officials in Moammar Gadhafi's regime.

Clinton said Saturday in a statement that the U.S. was "moving quickly on a series of steps to hold the Libyan government accountable for its violation of human rights and to mobilize a strong response from the international community."

The visa ban follows Obama's executive order on Friday freezing the assets of Gadhafi loyalists and imposing financial sanctions on them for abuses committed against Libyans. The order also suspended the limited defense trade between the U.S. and Libya.

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[UPDATE] 2-26 4:44 PM--

WASHINGTON (AP) -- US revokes visas for senior Libyan officials
and their family members
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi must leave the country now.

Obama made the comments to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a
private telephone conversation Saturday as they discussed the violence in Libya. The White House says Obama told Merkel that when a leader's only means of holding power is to use violence against his people, then he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what's right for his country by "leaving now."

The comments mark the first time that Obama has called on Gadhafi to step down.

Gadhafi has launched a violent crackdown against protesters demanding his ouster. He has vowed a bloody fight to the end.


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