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Rediff.com  » News » Gaddafi urges troops to carry out rapes, issues Viagra: US

Gaddafi urges troops to carry out rapes, issues Viagra: US

April 29, 2011 20:55 IST

Amid growing division among the international community over the military campaign in Libya, the United States has accused the Libyan regime of distributing Viagra to soldiers to carry out rapes as a weapon of war.

Susan Rice, the US envoy to the United Nations, reportedly told other Security Council members that Gaddafi has been issuing Viagra tablets to soldiers fighting the rebels. Rice accused Gaddafi's forces of  "issuing Viagra to his soldiers so they go out and rape," according to the Turtle Bay blog on the UN. However, diplomats responded that there was no proof of the allegation.

Fred Abrahams, a special advisor to Human Rights Watch, told Turtle Bay that there had been instances of gender-based rape but it was not systematic and the Viagra allegations could not be confirmed yet. "On Viagra and condom distribution we have nothing so far," he said. "It's not to dismiss it, but we do not have the evidence."

In March, Al Jazeera channel reported that several doctors had found Viagra tablets and condoms in the pocket of dead Gaddafi fighters, which indicated rape was being used as a weapon of war. In March, the Security Council passed resolution 1973 authorising use of force against Gaddafi.

At the time, India, China, Russia and Brazil abstained on the vote. Now, the US, Britain and France are facing criticism over the prolonged civil war amid fears that the civil war was "moving towards stalemate".

On Wednesday, the Security Council held a closed-door meeting on Libya.

Even as western nations, particularly France and the United Kingdom, have underlined the need to do more to force Gaddafi to quit, the conflict has brought out the growing division among the international community.

Russia and China have been critical of the targetting of the Libyan regime by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation air strikes, describing them as being outside the mandate of UNSC resolution 1973 that authorised the 'no fly' zone in Libya to protect the civilians.

 

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