AU closer to Libya solution, says Zuma

2011-07-02 14:44

The African Union’s (AU) framework agreement on a political solution to the crisis in Libya has taken Africa one step towards a political solution in that country, said President Jacob Zuma today.

Zuma returned to South Africa today after attending the two-day 17th AU assembly session in Malabo in Equatorial Guinea.

The role of the AU in bringing a solution to the crisis in Libya was “matter of fact”, Zuma said in a statement. It was important for the AU Ad Hoc High Level Committee’s final decision to be discussed at length so all parties were in agreement.

On Friday the AU presented a plan to Libyan rebels to end the conflict. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi would be excluded from the negotiations.

The plan lays out steps for a ceasefire, national dialogue and transition to democracy.

During the AU assembly African leaders were also urged to adopt policies that created safe, decent and competitive employment opportunities for young people.

The decision was influenced by the 20 million young Africans seeking employment in a labour market that was not ready to receive such a high number.

“The youth embody the future of the continent and therefore have a role to play in pursuit of its integration agenda,” Zuma said.

“Given the challenges of illiteracy, unemployment, lack of skills, underempowerment, irrelevant education, lack of access to capital, poverty, diseases, including HIV and Aids, and forced migration, it is important to mobilise the youth in our respective countries to focus on the task of development and nation building.”

Zuma hosted the AU ad hoc committee on Libya in Pretoria last week. The committee discussed the implementation of the AU roadmap on Libya.

The committee, which is chaired by the president of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Azizhas, held meetings with the Libyan parties on three occasions, including with Gaddafi and the Libyan Transitional National Council leadership in Tripoli and Benghazi in April.

Other members of the committee are heads of state of the Republic of Congo, Mali, Uganda and South Africa as well as the chairperson of the AU Commission.

In May Zuma met with Gaddafi in Libya to discuss the peace process.

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