March 1, the UN General Assembly suspended Libya’s membership in the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Following the vote, U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice commented: “This is the first time that either the Human Rights Council or its predecessor, the Human Rights Commission, have suspended any member state for gross violations of human rights. And we think this is an important step forward in enhancing the credibility of the Human Rights Council.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States “continue[s] to demand an immediate halt to the violence perpetrated by the Qadhafi government against its own citizens.”

Rwanda’s minister of foreign affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, stated that the appointment of Alain Juppé as France’s foreign minister was a “bad surprise” for Rwanda, reported. During Juppé’s previous tenure as French foreign minister, from 1993 to 1995, an investigation found that he strongly supported the forces that committed the genocide.

The UN has again released reports warning of a civil war in the Ivory Coast. Most recently, security forces in the country shot dead seven women who were protesting against Laurent Gbagbo, ABC News reported. According to CBC News, soldiers allegedly “mowed down women protesting [Gbagbo’s] refusal to leave power in a hail of gunfire Thursday, killing at least six and shocking a nation where women’s marches have historically been used as a last resort against an unrestrained army.”

CNN has released an interactive site showing the current rebellion in the Middle East country by country, specifically noting the causes of the unrest.

Photo: CBC News