US Seeks UN resolution to Release $1.5 Billion to Libyan Rebels

ABC News' Kirit Radia ( @KiritRadia_ABC) reports:

A United Nations Security Council diplomat tells ABC News that the United States plans to introduce a resolution at this afternoon that would authorize the transfer of roughly $1.5 billion of Moammar Gadhafi’s frozen assets to the rebels.

There’s an expectation this will pass, with a vote probably tomorrow or Friday, however it would still take a few days for the money to be transferred.

The U.S. and other countries have sought and received assurances from the rebel Transitional National Council that the money will not be used to purchase arms, but rather for humanitarian and other pressing needs like food, water and medicine.

The U.S. and its allies on the council had sought to get the transfer authorized through the sanctions committee which enforces UN sanctions passed on Libya earlier this year, but since consensus was needed one country stood in the way.

According to the Security Council diplomat South Africa said it would not even consider authorizing the transfer until the African Union concludes its meetings on Friday, and even then it would not a guarantee a yes vote. This afternoon’s action is designed to force their hand and pass it anyway.

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