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U.N.’s Ban Frustrated With Libyan Conflict

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 12 (UPI) — With U.N. members expressing concern over the protracted military conflict in Libya, the U.N. secretary-general said it was time for political solutions.

NATO forces in March started enforcing a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians from attacks by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant from Gadhafi for crimes against humanity committed since February and many international governments view the rebel-backed Transitional National Council as the sole governmental authority in Libya.

Despite the diplomatic evolution, however, there are few signs the military situation is moving in any clear direction.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted the U.N. Security Council has discussed the Libyan situation in recent days and most members expressed concern about the mounting loss of life and the destruction of Libya’s infrastructure.

Ban said he spoke with Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmudi to say he was “very troubled” about the lack of progress on finding a political solution to the crisis. Ban in statements issued though his spokesman’s office said “all sides must commit to a political process.”

NATO officials in press statements this week suggested forces loyal to Gadhafi were showing signs of defeat, however.

“Although it will be premature to jump to conclusions, it is becoming more and more apparent that pro-Gadhafi forces are losing their ability to conduct massive offensives,” said Col. Roland Lavoie, a spokesman for the NATO mission in Libya, in a statement.

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