Resolution 1970 authorizes a no-fly zone over Libya and to allow “all necessary measures” to be taken “to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in (Libya), including Benghazi, while excluding an occupation force,” Reuters reported on Thursday.

Thousands of Benghazi residents have gathered in a central square immediately following the passing of the UNSC resolution to celebrate.

It allows for airstrikes to halt Gaddafi’s offensive against the revolutionary forces in Libya.

The vote passed 10-0 with five abstentions in the 15-member council. The permanent council members of China and Russia did not use their veto powers, but instead abstained.

Addressing the Security Council, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the world had to act to support Libya.

“The world is living one of its great revolutions that changes the course of history. In North Africa, the Persian Gulf, the Arab people are calling to breathe democracy,” he said.

“In Libya, alas, for a number of weeks the people’s will has been shot down to its feet by Colonel Kadhafi,” the French top diplomat said.

“We are ready and willing to act together, including with Arab members. We have very little time left. It is a matter of days. Perhaps it is a matter of hours,” Juppe said. “We should not arrive too late.”

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