SA's UN diplomat wants Libya Nato probe

2012-01-05 08:10

New York - The incoming UN Security Council president called on Wednesday for an investigation into human rights abuses committed during Nato's bombing campaign to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

South Africa's UN Ambassador Baso Sangqu, who holds the rotating Security Council presidency for January, said he believed Nato overstepped its mandate enforcing a no-fly zone, killing an untold number of innocent civilians.

"We were alive to the fact that the implementation of the resolution itself would have its own problems, but we now hear strong voices that talk about many mistakes that were made," Sangqu said. "They were supposed to be precision strikes, but it was clear that those were not that precise."

Sangqu said the UN human rights officials are currently conducting investigations on the ground, but demanded that they must look at all parties involved.

"There must be investigations of human rights abuses in Libya across the board: by Gaddafi regime supporters, by the rebels, by Nato, anybody who was involved in that conflict as mandated by the resolution 1973 and 1970 should be held accountable especially those that were mandated," Sangqu said.

Sangqu, who said he was speaking in his capacity as South Africa's ambassador, said he believed the Security Council resolution that his country supported only a no-fly zone but did not mean "regime change or anything else".

Sangqu's remarks echoed a similar call by Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who recently expressed unhappiness with Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon over the UN chief's comment that Nato acted within its mandate in its bombing campaign in Libya.

Russia has also called for an independent UN investigation of civilian casualties. Syria's President Bashar Assad is a close Russian ally.

Nato spokesperson Oana Lungescu denied that the alliance exceeded its mandate or that the bombing resulted in a large number of civilian casualties.

"Throughout the operation, we took every precaution to minimise the risk to civilians with solid intelligence, a very strict target selection and precision-guided munition," Lungescu said, speaking from Belgium.

"And we repeatedly warned civilians to stay away from military installations and equipment. We did everything we could to reduce the risk, while also making clear that in an air campaign that risk can never be zero."

  • Johnathan - 2012-01-05 08:16

    Ok, this is coming from South Africa, a country who declares 39 people dying on our roads per day over the Dec period and over 50 murders per day statistically taking the moral high ground on human rights abuses. Delusional.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-05 08:24

      I want to hide my head. Just how embarrasing is this going to get over the next few years? Will we be China's puppet to push the buttons they want pushed, etc.?

      mnbain - 2012-01-05 08:27

      Road accidents and civilian murders are not decision made by a state or a collective group, the two have nothing to do with one another.

      Riaan - 2012-01-05 08:44

      Yes, I have to agree with mnbain. SA, however, has no moral high ground on this matter, because they side with human right abusers every time the UN wants to take tough action against despotic countries.

      Sharkshoot - 2012-01-05 08:44

      Zooma is trying to save face for having his snout tucked into whatshisface's butt when everyone else was calling for his head. The ANC and its illiterate leaders have no instinct for good judgement.

      StarStruck - 2012-01-05 08:52

      Lacoste & mnbrain - Read the comment again and again and again until you understand it. mmkay.

      Jerhone - 2012-01-05 09:15

      To Mnbain road accidents and civillian murders IS the states duty to controle and try to eliminate, but due to incometence, weak governance, petty punishment which does not match the crime, lazyness and corruption of police force this is why our stats are world beating

      Gargmel - 2012-01-05 09:27

      ANC: Defending dictators since 1906....

  • Mike - 2012-01-05 08:31

    Once again our "diplomacy" is that of an Elephant in a porcelain shop. Did we not already get crucified for our failures during COP 17? And why is Libya such an issue - have a look across the Limpopo and see what is happening there for years; and how did South Africa's diplomacy and intervention make any change....

  • Mark - 2012-01-05 08:32

    Strange that Sangqu or any other Govt Official did not initiate these type of proceedings whilst Gadaffi was in power?

      StarStruck - 2012-01-05 08:44

      This is a very good point Mark. Gadaffi's fortunes where big enough to buy countless countries for cash. I would not be suprised if South African MP's had a steady flow of some of that cash. A payoff for keeping quiet?

      Abdullahi - 2012-01-05 13:07

      Strange that the UN was about to HONOUR Gaddafi in March for the tremendous strides he had made in taking Liby from nowhere to 53rd on the list of the Human Development Index. Why do you think the Americans made sure that 1973 was passed so quickly. Wake up Mark things are not always as they seem especially in wesstern controlled press

      Mike - 2012-01-05 14:15

      Oh yes Abdullahi - and it is in the Islam controlled press... Look where Islam is in power... Bloodshed and disaster everywhere: Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Indonesia, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Somalia, Yemen etc. etc. - and since you reside in Nigeria you surely would recall what happened Christmas 2011? Things are very clear - particularly in the Western controlled press - as here you can make up your own opinion - whereas in the Islam controlled press you are brainwashed and are only allowed to believe one thing that what is given to you!

      Graziella - 2012-01-05 14:44

      It's extraordinary to see the illogical knots that get tied in your efforts to distract from Abdullahi's point.

      Spyker - 2012-01-05 21:13

      @Mark.., It is an open secret that the ANC was directly funded by Qaddafi/Gaddafi's (still not sure what it is meant to be) Libya. Gaddafi sponsored the ANC (directly) with millions - fact. The other source of funding (particularly for the ANC's election campaigns) is China. I can guarantee you that the budget for the ANC's 100-year thing has had to reigned in considerably, since the untimely- and somewhat ungainly demise of comrade, brother leader, Muammar. You have to ask yourself what it is that they are trying to achieve - it is one thing to shoot yourself in the foot, but to shoot yourself in the head... @Abdullahi.., Perhaps you should visit the library of the University of New Haven a bit more often, he, he, he... Qaddafi was worth more than $200 Billion - by far the richest person in the world. Three times as rich as Carlos Slim and ten times richer than King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Yet his people thought he lived in a tent. Relatively little of Libya wealth reached the lower half of the people. So when his own people protested, he killed them - ruthlessly. Unarmed civilians were slaughtered with weapons intended for full conventional war. This was the reason NATO was given its mandate, but naturally as an ANC apologist, you have conveniently forgotten such irrelevant little details... BTW - Libya is 64th on the HDI (perhaps you got your info from the University of New Haven - LOL). @Graziella.., Kindly explain "...illogical knots..."..?

  • Werner - 2012-01-05 08:33

    Ag shame, its all because comrade gaddafi was taken out of power by the "evil" West. Get a life.

  • Americo - 2012-01-05 08:49

    We might as well open up a can of worms - Mr UN Diplomat can you also bring up the Mac Bride bomber trial I am sure that was a human right abuse

      Graziella - 2012-01-05 14:45

      Add Sharpville to that!

      Americo - 2012-01-05 17:40

      Graziella - We might as well add all the farmers that have been murdered.

      Graziella - 2012-01-05 18:41

      The killing of farmers is criminal and not political. The fact that post-colonialism/Apartheid has seen a continuation of existing power structures has also meant that whites are therefore more likely to be the victims of such attacks.

  • Helmut - 2012-01-05 08:53

    Embarrassing.Chinese inspired,ouer new masters have spoken.We are just a cheape puppet.

  • Garth - 2012-01-05 08:57

    The UN is a toothless dog that has achieved nothing in its 66 years of life and should be put out of its misery. All the trillions of dollars wasted keeping this flea bag alive, could have benefited the world on a scale unseen by the narrow-minded bureaucrats that are ensconced in this kennel. Has it prevented one war? Then what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

      StarStruck - 2012-01-05 09:06

      That’s a bit harsh Garth. The last thing any Dictator will do willingly is hand over power, wouldn’t you say? The nations that sit at the UN share information about many different things affecting each nation and through diplomatic dialogue they try to find solutions. Let us not try and imagine how many wars there would have been without the UN.

      Garth - 2012-01-05 10:01

      StarStruck - As a supporter of the UN, answer the question posed. Using all that information that they have supposedly amassed, how many wars have they prevented? Too many egos bunched together in one room do not an equitable solution make, merely enough hot air to destroy the ozone layer. You use the word `try' to describe their efforts and it is an apt description. Their current in-utility is manifested in their choice of current Security Council president, himself a member of an ineptocracy, that itself, is incapable of anything other than milking the taxpayer. I suppose that like attracts like and if the anc is a Warthog at the trough, then the UN is a Giant Forest Hog. Disband it; reimburse the trillions and use the UN buildings to house the homeless - it will have found a use.

      Graziella - 2012-01-05 14:53

      The UN was established to prevent the same kind of crimes that the US and UK have been guilty of: WARS OF AGRESSION. The UN is just a tool, a filthy tool, that does work when its founders wish it to work. To rely on the UN for justice, is like expecting a donkey to win the J&B Met. The UN is not an equal organisation with members having vetos and membership in the UN security council, so it's rigged. The ICC is rigged too, the Worldank is a US bank and rigged, the IMF is a tool to pillage countries. Most of the 'international' organisations are just a tool to project imperial power.

      PaasHaas - 2012-01-05 15:48

      @ Graziella - you may be right, however dont you find its stange that your heroes (and their collection of hangers on, body guards, etc.), still cant wait to show their faces in New York or elsewhere for some UN funded blingfest, where they can rub shoulders with the rich, famous, despotic, psycopathic, dictatorial, you name it. If you and your ANC feels so strongly about how bad the UN, World Bank, IMF are, why do they still want to be members, chairpersons, host their events, etc?

      Graziella - 2012-01-05 16:48

      Well you're so quick to label anybody aren't you? And of course you have one big sack in which you can put anybody who has differring point of view from you. So it's back to the vitriol and screaming leftie/commie. Must try harder.

  • Gerda - 2012-01-05 09:02

    What for? I think Libia is capable enough to govern its own country without the interference of outsiders. Nato's help was urgently needed at that time when Gaddafi started killing his own people because they had the guts to stand up against him. Why waste money on something that is concluded.I suggest Sangqu comes up with something more original than crap.

      Jerhone - 2012-01-05 09:29

      it's because they are used to wasting other people's money, they are the masters at it

      Lambert - 2012-01-05 09:29


      Graziella - 2012-01-05 15:19

      Regime change was the only agenda of US led NATO warmongers from very beginning. Only one in brainwashing business may pretend to not see that. Neocolonial thinking is difficult to hide.

  • Alva - 2012-01-05 09:03

    Rich coming from RSA! If RSA is so concerned with human rights abuses, what about Zimbabwe and China, just for openers?

      Juan - 2012-01-05 10:38

      Thank-you the way the ANC sucked up to the Chinese with their impeckable human rights record when the Dalai Lama wanted to come visit is fresh in my mind here. Bloody hypocrates!!

  • Alva - 2012-01-05 09:04

    RSA is showing off and trying to punch above their weight!

      Jerhone - 2012-01-05 09:34

      what the hell have they got to show off? the world knows we are just a bunch of bobjaane easy to minipulate and buy off, no morals we climb into bed with anyone that will pay enough, we've become the international whore of the UN

  • mnbain - 2012-01-05 09:22

    How many of you realize that Libya was Ranked 51 on the human development index, the highest in Africa. The Libyans had a lot less to complain about than us.

  • Jerhone - 2012-01-05 09:26

    this is the latest ploy by this useless government who were hanging out of Gadaffi's a*se when he was in power, then saw that he was going to see his own a*se quickly climbed out and turned against him like the two faced greedy b*rstards that they are, now that he is dead they are trying desperatley to crawl back up the new Libian regime's a*se by trying to earn brownie points through the UN

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-01-05 09:37

    its like p................g in the wind will not get you anywhere rather concentrate on something more local like getting rid of the dictators in africa and the continent of to come of aid and be independant and free from western interferance

  • Pierre - 2012-01-05 11:06

    Libya is a problem case, because a UN resolution was misused to bring about regime change. Under a disguise of saving civilians a bombing campaign was launched to side directly with a rebel army and a rebel army nobody knew much about. Recent reports on human right violations indicate they are not any better than Gaddafi. How would you have liked if NATO bombed SA cities to bring about regime change during Apartheid? For those who pointed to Zimbabwe and missed the news for the last 2 and 1/2 years, an interim government was established with Morgan Tsvangirai since late 2008. Surely not perfect but things are on the up, with the IMF calling Zimbabwe “completing its second year of buoyant economic growth after a decade of economic decline”; and I am no fan of Mugabe and he has nothing to do with the recovery, but one must accept progress where there are progress. NZ even played cricket over there recently.

      Garth - 2012-01-05 11:58

      Pierre, your flag should have a touch of rose-colouring. Maybe you should read the news reports on Zimbabwe with your tinted glasses lying next to you on the table. Agree on Libya, but wtf, it's over; hopefully the people can pick up the pieces. If the useless UN would keep their noses out and not insist on blaming and recriminations, maybe all countries would move on faster. The reason why NATO did not bomb Pretoria: NATO supported apartheid South Africa as a very important strategic holding - the same thing that the Chinese are currently engaged in with the useless anc. NZ also recently played cricket in Australia - so what are you saying?

      Pierre - 2012-01-06 09:42

      You know exactly what I mean Garth. Zimbabwe was very much isolated a few years back, but sports team are prepared to tour there now, for example NZ. The rest of what I said is all correct and the quote was not my words but those of the IMF. I think they know a bit more than you do. Of course Zimbabwe has still a very long way to go, but just open yours eyes.

  • Mark - 2012-01-05 12:40

    One can be sure SA Ambassador Baso Sangqu will also bring up Zimbabwe's abuses to it's own people and call for Uncle Bob's head on an international platter. I am now going outside to supervise my pet-pig's flying lessons.

  • Graziella - 2012-01-05 15:38

    If the UN is concerned about human rights abuses, then it should have to investigate the atrocities committed by NATO forces against Libya, including the use of depleted uranium, the killing of civilians, the targeting of Libya's infrastructure, and so on.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-05 20:07

      Graziella how boring you have become

      Graziella - 2012-01-06 08:09

      One liners do not an argument make.

      Jimmy - 2012-01-11 14:43

      Boring indeed , always the same old mumble over the evil imperialists/colonialists with their hidden agendas etc

  • kimbozeirok - 2012-01-05 21:53

    Too late!South Africa should have made a stand against the war on Libya altogether, it sounds hypocritical to challenge the acts committed during the war and ignore the crimes being carried out today!

  • John - 2012-01-06 10:12

    I agree, it needs to be investigated.

  • Nicardo - 2012-01-06 12:07

    @Johnathan....roads accidents are not murder, they are accidents as the word describes them. Murders are criminal offences, and those caught are brought to justice, so be it with NATO...

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