AU chief chides West over Libya intervention

2011-07-05 14:26

Berlin – Jean Ping, the African Union head, chided western nations today in Berlin for pressing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to leave, saying Gaddafi’s future was for the Libyan people only to decide.

After a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ping said his 54-nation group had always supported a political solution. The AU has criticised Nato’s bombing of Tripoli.

“We want a ceasefire. Without a ceasefire, nothing is possible,” said Ping, who is chairman of the AU commission.

“The Libyans must decide which people are acceptable to them,” he said. “It should not be up to us to say who is acceptable and who is not.”

Germany has dissociated itself from the Nato operations against Gaddafi and abstained from the UN Security Council resolution that authorised them, but has also taken the side of the Benghazi-based rebels, recognising them as the legitimate government of Libya.

“A solution must be found where Gaddafi no longer leads Libya,” Merkel said at the joint news conference.

Merkel is to tour Africa next week, visiting Kenya, Angola and Nigeria. She said Ping briefed her on what to expect.

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