French Defence Minister Alain Juppe said Thursday that he strongly wants to see the fall of Gaddafi as leader of Libya.
Speaking on “France Inter” radio, the Minister of State and the number two in the French government also called for a tightening and bolstering of sanctions against the Libyan regime.
“I wish with all my heart that Gaddafi is living his last moments as Head of State,” Juppe said in an interview.
He is the first leading French government member to openly call for the removal of the Libyan leader.
Juppe also said that those who were killing Libyans and others belonged in front of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to answer for the violent and bloody repression of protests against Gaddafi. The death toll in Libya varies from several hundred to thousands, but information to confirm these figures is difficult to obtain.
“There in an International Criminal Court on the planet and criminals are answerable to it,” the Defence Minister remarked.
He said “those who decided” to use the military power in Libya against civilians must be made accountable and he underlined “to fire with heavy weapons on the population is naturally unacceptable.”
He dismissed the idea that the international community should not intervene to stop the blood-bath because that would be interference in Libya’s internal affairs.
“We sometimes speak about non-interference in the affairs of countries on the planet but there is another duty which was clearly adopted by the United Nations, meaning the responsibility to protect.”
If a government cannot protect or attacks it people, “other countries have the duty to intervene,” although he stressed no military intervention was planned but a number of countries were planning tough sanctions in all areas against Libya for the moment.
For his part, he said he would support a halt to purchases of Libyan oil if this was suggested.