United Nations authorizes use of force to protect Libyan citizens

NEW YORK (RNN) - The United Nations Security Council has effectively authorized the use of force in Libya to protect citizens from attack by Moammar Gadhafi.

The Council adopted a resolution that provides for the use of force if needed by a 10-0 vote, with five abstentions. The vote gives member states the authority to "take all necessary measures to protect civilian populated areas under threat of attack … while excluding an occupation force."

Russia and China, nations with veto power, were among the countries abstaining from the vote. Brazil, Germany and India also abstained.

The resolution condemns the "gross and systematic violation of human rights" and imposes a no-fly zone, banning all flights in Libyan airspace except those for humanitarian purposes.

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