An international investigation of Qaddafi’s alleged crimes against humanity was also moving forward, with the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, announcing that a preliminary investigation began Monday. The initial inquiry will lead to a decision within a matter of days whether the ICC launches a formal investigation into the Libyan regime’s actions since Feb. 15, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo says.
The accelerated pace of action against Libya stands in stark contrast to the international community’s reputation for sluggish and extremely cautious proceedings in such cases – especially at the UN. But UN diplomats and analysts say they could not recall a recent case where the international body and its various institutions acted so quickly.
The Obama administration was criticized last week for what some human rights organizations and other critics said was slow action in response to the state-sponsored violence in Libya that began two weeks ago. The administration countered that it had moved cautiously while American citizens were still in Libya and potentially in danger of reprisal from the famously mercurial Colonel Qaddafi.