Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday confirmed his support for UN intervention in Libya as an international military force begins launching attacks on Libyan targets.
Santos said Colombia supports measures that will protect innocent civilians from slaughter. “Colombia will always support the positions they defend freedom, to defend democracy and defend human rights, and that’s something to be proud of as Colombians,” he said.
Talking about the UN Security Council’s resolution, Santos said, “It is a resolution that is aimed at protecting civilians from the slaughter that Mr. Gaddafi is doing there in the country.
“This morning the confirmation is that we will see military intervention in Libya, because the Libyan authorities scoffed at the UN resolution and therefore the military will intervene,” said Santos.
Colombia’s neighbour Venezuela, an ally of Libya, condems the attack. President Hugo Chavez said on Saturday that the United Nations has “infringed on its fundamental principles” by backing the no-fly zone in Libya. “We know what’s going to happen: bombs, bombs, war,” he declared.
Colombia, a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since 2010, voted affirmatively in Thursday’s ballot for UN intervention in Libya.
A coalition of French, American and English forces attacked Libya on Saturday after dictator Moamma Gadaffi opened the attack on the city of Bengazi, a city that’s been in the hands of anti-government rebel forces for weeks.
French planes were the first to fire in Libya on Saturday morning, hitting four Libyan tanks outside Banghazi. Hours later U.S. naval forces began firing scores of cruise cruise missiles at Libyan targets, including missile defense, anti-aircraft systems and airfields. President Obama said he was proud of the U.S. involvement and response to the plea for help from a threatened population.
Speaking after an emergency meeting in Paris on Friday, French President Nicholas Sarkozy said, “If we intervene on the side of Arab nations it is not to impose on the Libyan people, but because of a universal conscience hat cannot tolerate such crimes.
“We do it to protect the civilian population from the madness of a regime that, but killing its own people, has lost any legitimacy,” said Sarkozy.
Late on Friday, Gadaffi issued a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and international leaders warning that the entire region would be destabilized if they pursued strikes against Libya. “You will regret it if you take a step to intervene in our internal affairs,” he wrote.