The five abstentions were registered by permanent U.N. Security Council members Russia and China, in addition to non-permanent members Germany, India and Brazil. The resolution required nine votes in favor to pass, and could have been vetoed by any of the five Security Council permanent members, which also include the U.S., UK and France.
The resolution includes as well, provisions to strengthen the enforcement of the arms embargo against Libya, including imposing sanctions on those that supply Gadhafi with mercenaries. It also freezes the assets of more members of the Libyan regime and bans all international flights in and out of Libya, especially those that might be carrying mercenaries.
“The future of Libya should be decided by the people of Libya,” said Susan E. Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nation. She added that the United States stands with the people of Libya in support of their universal rights.
She also emphasized, that the resolution was asked for by the Arab League of Nations on March 12, and that “Today’s resolution is a powerful response to that call and to the urgent needs on the ground.”
The vote came as Gadhafi continued his bombardment to regain control of Benghazi, Libya’s second biggest city.