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Unite: Call an immediate halt to military intervention

Unite statement on Libya: Call an immediate halt to military intervention, press for a ceasefire.

Unite, the biggest union in the UK and Ireland, has today called upon the governments of the UK, France and the US to halt the air attacks on Libya.

Unite says that the intervention is a mistake and will provoke a lengthened civil conflict. An immediate ceasefire ought to be called to allow for resolution through peaceful means, the union argues.

In a statement the union says:

"Unite the union believes the attack on Libya by British, French and US forces is wrong and should be halted.

"While holding no brief for Colonel Gaddafi and his regime, and strongly supporting the movements now developing for democracy and freedom across the Arab world, Unite believes the present military intervention is a mistake because:

- It risks killing Libyan civilians while doing nothing to end hostilities on the ground.

- It prolongs a civil conflict when what is needed is a ceasefire followed by mediation.

- It raises the possibility of escalation leading to military occupation of all or part of Libya, when similar occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown how disastrous and counter-productive such interventions are. This could lead to a wider war in the region.

- The action has little or no Arab involvement, and is opposed by, amongst others, Russia, China and India, leaving it dependent on those western powers whose policies have aroused deep hostility throughout the Middle East.

- It stands in contrast to the indulgence shown by the government to the autocrats in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere who have been allowed to repress movements for democracy in their own countries with impunity.

"We urge the British government to think again, call a halt to the military action and urge a general ceasefire to be followed by international mediation."

ENDS

For further information, please contact the Unite press office on 0207 420 8917

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