Libya: Zuma to discuss roadmap for peace

2011-05-30 14:37

Tripoli – South African President Jacob will discuss the implementation of the AU "roadmap" for peace, the Libyan television said on Monday, as rebels insisted that the resolution to the Libyan crisis was the removal of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Zuma arrived in Tripoli on Monday for talks on ending the Libyan conflict as Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Muammar Gaddafi’s "reign of terror" was near its end.

Zuma was greeted at the airport by Gaddafi’s prime minister, Baghdadi al-Mahmudi, shortly after Libyan state media said Nato-led air strikes on the town of Zliten, west of the rebel-held city of Misrata, killed 11 people.

The South African presidency said Zuma is seeking an immediate ceasefire, to boost humanitarian aid and bring about the reforms needed to eliminate the cause of the conflict which erupted amid anti-regime protests in mid-February.

But it rejected as "misleading" reports the talks would focus on an exit strategy for Gaddafi, saying the visit is part of African Union efforts to end the conflict between his forces and rebels fighting to oust him.

State news agency JANA said that Nato-led planes had hit "civilian and military sites in the Wadi Kaam area of Zliten." "There were 11 people martyred and a number of wounded," the news agency said.

At a meeting of Nato's parliamentary assembly in Bulgaria, the Nato chief insisted: "Gaddafi’s reign of terror is coming to an end.

Significant progress

"He is increasingly isolated at home and abroad. Even those closest to him are departing, defecting or deserting. ... It is time for Gaddafi to go as well," Rasmussen said.

The Nato chief was upbeat about the results of Nato's military intervention to enforce a UN-backed no-fly zone over the north African country.

"Our operation in Libya, Operation Unified Protector, is achieving its objectives and we are preventing Gaddafi from achieving his," Rasmussen said.

"In just two months we have made significant progress. We have seriously degraded Gaddafi’s ability to kill his own people."

In the rebels' eastern stronghold of Benghazi, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, who heads their provisional government, welcomed a call by G8 world powers for Gaddafi to stand down.

"The position taken by the G8 is reflective of the will of the international community as well as the demands and aspirations of the Libyan people," Jalil said.

G8 leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States called on Friday for Gaddafi to step down after more than 40 years in the face of pro-democracy protests turned full-fledged armed revolt.

Russia at the same time finally joined explicit calls for Gaddafi to go.

The Libyan regime responded by saying any initiative to resolve the crisis would have to go through the African Union.

"The G8 is an economic summit. We are not concerned by its decisions," said Tripoli's deputy foreign minister, Khaled Kaaim.

"We are an African country. Any initiative outside the AU framework will be rejected," he said, confirming Zuma's visit on Monday.

Brutality of crackdowns

The rebels reiterated they would accept no settlement that did not entail Gaddafi’s departure from power.

"We witness how Colonel Gaddafi presents initiatives to fool the world and create the illusion that he is in search of peace," Abdul Jalil said.

"It is with this in mind that we would like to reconfirm that the basis of any consideration for the resolution of the Libyan crisis is the removal of the main reason for this crisis, Colonel Gaddafi."

In a statement on the eve of the visit, Zuma's ruling African National Congress slammed the Nato bombing of Libya.

"We also join the continent and all peace loving people of the world in condemning the continuing aerial bombardments of Libya by Western forces," it said after a two-day meeting of its executive council.

In Geneva, the UN rights chief Navi Pillay condemned the brutality of crackdowns on protesters in Libya and Syria, saying the actions were shocking in their disregard for human rights.

"The brutality and magnitude of measures taken by the governments in Libya and now Syria have been particularly shocking in their outright disregard for basic human rights," Pillay told the UN Human Rights Council.

Two French lawyers said they planned to initiate legal proceedings against French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday for crimes against humanity over the Nato-led military campaign in Libya.

A Libyan justice ministry official Ibrahim Boukhzam told reporters in Tripoli that Jacques Verges and Roland Dumas had offered to represent families he said were victims of the Nato bombing campaign.

In its latest operational update, Nato said on Monday it struck command and control nodes in Tripoli and the eastern oil town of Brega, and ammunition storage facilities in Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte and Misrata.

  • Daveza - 2011-05-30 14:55

    There is no road map to peace. There is however a direct flight to the Hague.

      Notuagain - 2011-05-30 15:34

      It's just a jump to the left...

      LemonParty - 2011-05-30 15:37

      You go Zuma, sort out Libya, you won the elections so there is fuskall left to do in SA, while we fall further into this bucket of shift call Africa!!!

      REVO - 2011-05-30 15:40

      Come on...just look at the Gaddafi's picture. The man's a underworld scum bag!! no wonder he has links to Zuma

      LemonParty - 2011-05-30 15:48

      Who is uglier? Vote now, click the thumbs up for Zuma, thumbs down for Gaddafi.

      Mthetwa - 2011-05-30 16:26

      Quiet diplomacy like Zim please

  • Sammy - 2011-05-30 15:15

    The AU initiative is most embarrassing for any level headed person living in africa as all the initiatives ,Ivory Coast,Somalia,Zimbabwe,etc are just long-winded attempts at trying to look important and concerned without yielding any success and just a waste of money.No wonder the developed world regards us with contempt.

  • Kevin - 2011-05-30 15:19

    Zuma ,if you hear a whistling sound there in Tripoli stand up and wave

      CHIPPER_CHAP - 2011-05-30 15:30

      they should give him a big flag also just to make sure they dont miss him LOL

  • Allin - 2011-05-30 15:22

    Zuma's visit is as relevant as last week's newspapers...

      Observer - 2011-05-30 15:46

      I disagree. We can still have a chuckle at last week's comics in those newspapers.

  • horsehair - 2011-05-30 15:23

    So we support dictators in other words. Life long presidents club and all that is so true to Africa. Oh and the West is the enemy with their invention of medicine and the wheel and stuff. Bad west, good dictators. Now I bet there will be someone on here bad mouthing the States while using the Internet to do it.

  • perthbok - 2011-05-30 15:24

    How can this clown talk about a roadmap to peace. What n lag. let's be serious here. Who is ever going to listen to this corrupt freak and who will take him seriously? Perhaps only the kind like gadafi. Make sure NATO gets it's fighter jets ready for the next raid for when zuma meets with gadaffi in the local tent. Take the all out. Can't believe how ridiculous is is....

  • LCBXX - 2011-05-30 15:26

    I unfortunately have very little confidence in our Presidents capabilities on the international front. I have yet to see significant result from a negotiation or visit he pays internationally. It would appear as if he commands very little respect from his presidential counterparts, often being all but dismissed, his presence being merely entertained as part of courtesy.

  • YES - 2011-05-30 15:29

    Nato chief must be smoking something to think that Nato is any headway in Libya. If indeed they were, it should have taken Nato so long and we would not be reading about rebels murmurings about lack of arms cash and food. One thing for certain is rebels are getting beaten everyday.

      Jordan25 - 2011-05-30 15:55

      You clearly dont know what You talking about the rebels have succesfully driven g-forces on the outskirts of Misrata. There are reports of defections of senior military officers. The game is over for the col that is why He wants to negotiate

      slg - 2011-05-30 17:16

      Whistling against the wind YES?

  • Lew - 2011-05-30 15:35

    Second time and what a waste of money.zuma must rather concentrate on regional shambles as the legimate forces in Lybia do not want to waste their tme talking to him. what an embarrasment.

  • fred.reinhardt - 2011-05-30 15:37

    It should read zuma and malema to discuss road map to peace in SA. Rather stay back in SA and sort out the curruption ,murdering of white people by spineless hyeans,and jobs for the more than 45% unemployed. By the way gahdafi has property in SA -maybe maybe he will be comming to stay after the meeting.

  • Orosman - 2011-05-30 15:37

    I wish you luck Mr President to broker a peace deal so that Nato can stop blowing up innocent people to bits all in the name of trying to "KILL" (remove) a Dictator.Why not send in their expert seals etc. to take the oke out. There is more to it than meets the eye so once again, Good Luck Mr President. Oh. and there are other parts of the world than only hearing about the west.

      slg - 2011-05-30 17:17

      CLearly, you don't know what is really happening. There's lots of material on the events as they have unfolded in the Middle East. I recommend Googling PBS Frontline and PBS Newshour.

  • Gundaan - 2011-05-30 15:38

    "We also join the continent and all peace loving people of the world in condemning the continuing aerial bombardments of Libya by Western forces," it said after a two-day meeting of its executive council. I wonder if JZ is going to sing his machine gun song !!!!

  • Jaco Smit - 2011-05-30 15:42

    try reducing police murder and the highest rate of gun violence in the world in this country first before providing libya with any advice!

  • Eric West - 2011-05-30 15:52

    I hope they forgot to inform the NATO forces about Zoomer's visit! Hehehe ...

  • Lejoejoang - 2011-05-30 16:01

    Ja né the Colonel did'nt learn from da old dogs lyk Adolf "Fuhrer" Hitler. On his last days he was deserted & betrayed even by the most trusted GENERALS. Then decided 2 point da barrel of a gun 2 himself. BEWARE OLD COLONEL GADAFFI.

  • Gerrit - 2011-05-30 16:18

    A while ago super dud zuma came back from lybia and told the world he had convinced gadaffi to stop attacking the rebels. What a crock ! Now he tries again. I suppose he will offer him safe retirement in South Africa at the cost of the tax payers. Zuma, you suck!

      Cliff - 2011-05-30 16:59

      Gerrit,if you want to see the poo poo hit the fan,let him try that one.

  • Cliff - 2011-05-30 16:52

    And the comedy show continues.What a joke!

      fred.reinhardt - 2011-05-30 22:51

      Cliff- this is typical africa.Even the locals get on together now.All they need to follow is the annoyed one malema. No it is not a comedy but a circus!! You guys must understand that zuma back a loser and is bringing back to SA.

  • Cliff - 2011-05-30 16:53

    Guess who's paying??????

  • struth - 2011-05-30 17:01

    Quote " The rebels reiterated they would accept no settlement that did not entail Gadaffi's departure from power". No roadmap to peace will ever be concluded unless this despot is removed from power and from what I gather the Libyan people do not want Gadaffi exiled. They want to settle their own scores with him on their own terms on their own soil. This is going to be interesting.

      Cliff - 2011-05-30 17:08

      Some raw 'bush' justice one should imagine.Ouch!

  • Budweiser - 2011-05-30 17:08

    I have to burst everyone's bubble unfortunately. After an in depth investigation, it has come to light that Zuma is going to Tripoli to get some foreign nookie. GouFlaffie allocated him a harem up there to secure a spot on the "Welcome To SA you freaking awesome Terrorist" list.

  • Benniten - 2011-05-30 18:29

    Will NATO increase their attack on Tripoli?

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