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UN investigates alleged rights abuses in Liby -

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A United Nations team will investigate allegations of human rights abuses committed in Libya during
the pro-democracy conflict.

Transcript

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The Libyan Government has reportedly agreed to co-operate with the United
Nations human rights team which has arrived in Libya to investigate allegations of abuse.

The UN says it will focus on all human rights breaches, including those which the regime claims
were perpetrated by NATO forces and rebel groups.

The inquiry comes as international attention shifts to the brutal crackdown against protestors in
Syria, with more calls for sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Middle East correspondent Anne Barker reports.

ANNE BARKER, REPORTER: As the bombings continue in Libya, the allegations mount of human rights
abuse, possibly even crimes against humanity. Libya's deputy foreign minister has accused rebels in
the city of Misrata of attacking Colonel Gaddafi's Army after it withdrew from the city.

KHALID KAIM, LIBYAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER: The Libyan Army stop its operation inside the centre
of Misrata, inside the city centre, and what was on the return? That the rebels start attacking the
Libyan armoured forces while they are trying to take defensive position outside the city centre.

ANNE BARKER: But Gaddafi's forces were back yesterday bombing Misrata's port, killing at least
three people.

Misrata has been under siege by the Libyan Army for two months, leaving its people without basic
supplies including fuel, water or power.

Human rights groups say more than 1,000 people have been killed in the conflict and many more
wounded.

Now, a UN team is on its way to investigate possible human rights violations.

BAN KI-MOON, UN GENERAL SECRETARY: The Libyan regime has lost both legitimacy and credibility,
particularly in terms of protecting its people and addressing their legitimate aspirations for
change.

ANNE BARKER: The investigators will also examine alleged abuses by the rebels or even NATO forces.
And the UN Security Council has asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Libya on
possible charges of war crimes.

There are growing calls too for international action against Syria over its crackdown against
pro-democracy demonstrators. The southern border town of Daraa remains the flashpoint, with
protestors coming under attack for a third day straight.

Human rights activists claim more than 400 protestors have been killed by security forces in the
past month. But Western defence leaders are dismissing the idea of using military force against
Syria as they have with Libya.

LIAM FOX, BRITISH DEFENCE SECRETARY: There are limitations to what we can do in a world which has
more than its historic amount of instability. We will do what we can to reinforce the values that
our countries share, but we can't do everything all the time and we have to recognise that there
are practical limitations to what our countries can do, no matter how much we would like to do so.

ANNE BARKER: The UN Security Council is due to meet in New York later today.

Anne Barker, Lateline.