The United Nations Security Council and the secretary-general have added
their voices to those strongly condemning the killing of four U.S.
diplomatic staff members in Libya, including the ambassador.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his staff members were
killed in an attack late Tuesday on the U.S. consulate in the eastern
Libyan city of Benghazi. The attack occurred during a protest against an
amateur short film made in the United States that insulted the Prophet
In a statement condemning the violence, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
said the world body rejects defamation of religion in all forms, but
added that there is no justification for the attack on the U.S.
Speaking at a previously scheduled Security Council briefing on Libya,
U.N. political chief Jeffrey Feltman reminded the Libyan authorities of
their obligation to protect diplomatic facilities and personnel and said
this and other incidents underscore one of Libya's main challenges,
"This attack, together with a spate of assassinations of security
personnel in Benghazi, a series of explosive devices in Tripoli, and
attacks on Sufi shrines, further emphasize the security challenges
facing the authorities in Libya," said Feltman.
Feltman, a former senior U.S. State Department official who knew
Ambassador Stevens well, cited some progress in Libya's transition to
democracy. He said the August 8 transfer of authority from the National
Transitional Council to the 200-member General National Congress was a
"For the first time in over four decades, Libya now has a
democratically-elected body," Feltman added.
Feltman said the U.N. Mission in Libya would focus its advisory and
coordination efforts on areas including national security structure,
police reform, preventing arms proliferation, and border security, and
he added the United Nations is ready to assist the Libyans on issues
involving their constitution.
The U.N. announced the mission will undergo a change of leadership next
month, when envoy Ian Martin steps down and is replaced by Tarek Mitri,
a former Lebanese minister and academic.
Libya's deputy ambassador, Ibrahim Dabbashi, said the attack on the U.S.
consulate was carried out by an "extremist group" acting outside the law
and gravely damaged the image of Islam.
reiterated his government's strong condemnation of the attack, said an
investigation is underway and that those responsible would be brought to
justice. Dabbashi noted several members of the Libyan security forces
also were killed during the incident.
Ambassador Dabbashi told reporters afterwards that Libya still faces
enormous challenges, especially on the security front.
"We have to say the reality - that the authority of the government is
still not covering the whole territory of Libya and there are some
groups and persons who are outlaws and the government could not until
this moment contain all of them," Dabbashi explained.
The envoy paid tribute to Ambassador Stevens as a great friend of the
Libyan people, and praised his bravery for remaining in the country
during the revolution.