Gaddafi must quit - Libyan envoy to SA

2011-02-28 10:40

Johannesburg - Another of Muammar Gaddafi's foreign envoys has called on the Libyan leader to resign.

Libyan's ambassador to South Africa, Abdallah Alzubedi, spoke out after senior Libyan diplomats around the world rejected Gaddafi's regime.

Libya's UN mission even supported the Security Council move on Saturday to impose arms, economic and other sanctions against Gaddafi, his relatives and close associates.

"I would like for him to resign because it is in the interest of the people for him to resign," Alzubedi said, adding he and others at the Pretoria mission had considered resigning, but decided that would leave the people of Libya without representation at a time of crisis. On Friday, his embassy issued a strong condemnation of the violence against demonstrators in Libya.

"We can stand by our people," Albuzedi said. "We can serve our people."

Fears of escalating fighting

The ambassador said he knew Gaddafi, and did not believe he would accept calls for him to quit.

"He will not step down easily," Alzubedi said, adding he feared that will mean escalating fighting.

Gaddafi has tried to claim leadership in Africa, and spent his country's oil wealth liberally on aid and development projects across the continent. But he is also seen as a meddler who inflamed wars and contributed to instability in other African countries. His imperious ways - for instance, rolling into African capitals with large, traffic-snarling entourages for state visits - also has rankled.

Over the weekend, the three African nations on the Security Council - Gabon, Nigeria and South Africa - joined the others on the main UN decision-making body in unanimously voting for sanctions against Gaddafi.

South Africa said that with its vote, it was sending "a clear and unambiguous message to the Libyan authorities to end the carnage against its people".

- AP

Read more on:    libya  |  libya protests  |  north africa  |  uprisings
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