SA forced to make U-turn on Libya

2011-09-20 17:35

For the second time this year South Africa had to make a U-turn in its international diplomacy when it reluctantly recognised the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate authority in the North African state.

South Africa was forced to follow the lead of the African Union (AU) when the continental body announced that the NTC may take the place vacated by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Earlier this year, during the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa also changed its position mid-way and decided to recognise Alassane Ouattara as the legitimate president of the West African country.

Previously South Africa insisted that incumbent Laurent Gbagbo had reason to believe he had won the elections.

Since August this year many AU countries have recognised the NTC, but South Africa was the spanner in the works at the AU, insisting that the rebels are unknown and untested and therefore should not be recognised on continental level.

Suggestions were made by senior South African government leaders that the rebels were in the pockets of Western countries like France and the United States and could no be trusted.

Others believed the rebels were responsible for killing black Africans in Libya and were therefore racist in their actions.

This seems to have all been forgotten when president Jacob  Zuma today told a UN high-level meeting that the AU recognised the NTC and was ready to work with them and other Libyan stakeholders.

“In this new phase South Africa and the AU remain committed to assist the Libyans in their quest for peace and stability,” he told the meeting, which was arranged by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.

He asked for Nato’s military campaign to be stopped immediately as the “initial threat that warranted the no-fly zone no longer exists”.

He said those responsible for killing black Africans should be brought to book.

At the UN meeting US president Barack Obama and French president Nicolas Sarkozy gave themselves imaginary high-fives in celebrating the success of the Nato military campaign which brought the Gaddafi regime to its knees.

“This is how the international community should work in the 21st century,”  Obama told the UN meeting.

Sarkozy issued a warning to leaders clinging to power through undemocratic means.

“Henceforth the international community will take action with weapons in their hands,” he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.