Loyalty out the window as AU, SA ditch Gaddafi

2011-09-20 22:53

Johannesburg - Ousted Libyan leader saw the last two bastions of key diplomatic support turn their back on him on Tuesday, as his country's interim leader was welcomed with open arms by world leaders gathered in New York.

Both the African Union, which Gaddafi helped build, and the organisation's key player South Africa, recognised the National Transitional Council (NTC) as Libya's de facto government.

The pan-African body, which has frequently been criticised for its ponderous reaction to events on its doorstep, said in a statement it was ready to support the NTC in its efforts to build an inclusive government.

It also urged the NTC to protect African migrant workers following reports of black Africans being targeted by militia units hunting down mercenaries loyal to Gaddafi.

South Africa, the continent's pre-eminent economic power which has a major say in AU policy, said it would also recognise the NTC, ending a long-standing relationship with the ousted leader.

"The South African government, hereby announces that it recognises the NTC as the representative of the Libyan people as they form an all-inclusive transitional government that will occupy the Libyan seat at the African Union," the international relations and co-operation department said in a statement.

South African support for Gaddafi had its roots in a long-standing relationship between the two countries based on Libya's backing for the ANC in its struggle against apartheid rule.

President Jacob Zuma has led AU delegations trying to broker a peace deal for Libya.

Zuma has criticised the European Union and Nato for using force to bring about change in Libya and has called for Gaddafi's officials to be a part of a transitional government.

Most European nations, the United States and Nigeria recognised the NTC from August 22, while China officially acknowledged the Benghazi-based group as Libya's "ruling authority" on September 12.

The AU's switch is likely to bring a modicum of pressure to bear on leaders such as Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, who expelled Libya's ambassador at the end of August after the envoy switched allegiance from Gaddafi to the NTC.

Stand together as one

Meanwhile, in New York, US President Barack Obama met Libya's interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil for the first time, and said the world would stand with his liberated country as it solidifies its freedom.

The president met the leader of the National Transitional Council on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, ahead of talks between the United States and its allies on Libya's future.

In the international meeting, Obama called on those fighters still supporting ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi to lay down their arms, warning that the Nato mission in the country would continue.

With the new Libyan flag flying over the United Nations building in New York, Obama also announced the return of the US ambassador to Tripoli and that the US flag would be raised again over a reopened American embassy.

"Today, the Libyan people are writing a new chapter in the life of their nation. After four decades of darkness, they can walk the streets, free from a tyrant," he told the meeting, also attended by the country's interim leaders.

Credit for the "liberation of Libya, belongs to the people of Libya", he insisted, but stressed the international community was not pulling out yet.

"Libya is a lesson in what the international community can achieve when we stand together as one," he said.

"Important, too, is how this effort succeeded - thanks to the leadership and contributions of many nations. The United States was proud to play a decisive role, especially in the first days, and then in a supporting capacity."

"This is how the international community should work in the 21st century."

  • drenkeling - 2011-09-20 23:04

    What, the prez just realised he has to suck up to the next Lybian government? I hope they kick his ...

      Coconut - 2011-09-21 00:43

      I think the AU has long lost any credibility it might have held in the past. Does the international community really care what the views are of the AU? Probably not.

      Lyndatjie - 2011-09-21 06:26

      :) He just realised which side his palm is oiled...

      Jon JJ - 2011-09-21 07:00

      Precisely that!! No integrity or values. The AU are just low-life scum. I hope the new Libyan government turns it's back on the AU. They must always remember that the AU was opposed to their liberation and wanted them to remain under that filthy dicator (Gaddafi). Libya, please don't ever forget who you're dealing with when you deal with the AU. You owe them f-all!!

      Arsenefaithful - 2011-09-21 07:28

      How embarrassing. Basically the whole world knew he was a killing-totalitarian-schizophrenic, BUT NOT THE AU. It is only until he is hunted down underground (by his own people), when the AU realised, 'oh, wait he is a prick'.

      Shivermetimb - 2011-09-21 08:38

      Once his African chums realised his cash was gone, so too did the cosy relationship.

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-09-21 08:51


  • RVQ - 2011-09-20 23:17

    I just hope families can safely return home and that this benefits the nation in the end.

      zanda - 2011-09-21 02:22

      This is the best article i have ever read from United states ,, real they took a very very good decision to bring down this ditactor gaddafii,,and i real like your words oBama when you say,,Today, the Libyan people are writing a new chapter in the life of their nation. After four decades of darkness, they can walk the streets, free from a tyrant," he told the meeting, also attended by the country's interim leaders. Credit for the "liberation of Libya, belongs to the people of Libya", he insisted, but stressed the international community was not pulling out yet. "Libya is a lesson in what the international community can achieve when we stand together as one," he said. "Important, too, is how this effort succeeded - thanks to the leadership and contributions of many nations. The United States was proud to play a decisive role, especially in the first days, and then in a supporting capacity." "This is how the international community should work in the 21st century." - Re

      Met - 2011-09-21 06:37

      Money talks and the ravenous wolves come running

      Fred - 2011-09-21 10:33

      @Zanda, the US did nothing to oust Gaddafi, they surrendered in the first few week, It was the EU and the Arab states that put a stop to Gaddafis murderous regime, Obama is just hopping on the oily bandwagon as are the AU and Zuma.

      Freddie Jones - 2013-06-07 21:28

      @Fred, You don't seem to know what happened. The USAF provided immense logistical support, from air-to-air tankers to re-supply of weapons that were used.

  • Harvey - 2011-09-20 23:20

    Did the beloved colonel miss a payment for our support?

      phoantoinix - 2011-09-21 00:40

      Harvey -LOL!

  • Garthn - 2011-09-21 00:09

    Loyalty?? these scum dont even stick by their murderous pals. But they are all going to the same place.

  • - 2011-09-21 01:01

    At a loss for words.Why recognise it now? showerhead listened to Obama "they can walk the streets,free from the tyrant" must have sent shivers down his spineless spine.No more backhanders for black leaders in africa.That is the reality of the sudden 180 degree turn

      Theo - 2011-09-21 13:15

      Banana leaders for Banana republic's rule Banana Continent ask for Banana donations and shoot those who opose Banana rules, thats AFRICA in action Gadaffi, Zuma, Charles taylor , Bob Mugabe and , and ..... Zume and friends will find another way to help his old friend Gadafffi just whatch !!!

  • Daniel Jones - 2011-09-21 01:09

    Who cares what the AU says. That is not a body guided by reason, but rather by cronyism to outdated strongmen like Gaddafi and Mugabe. Libya belongs to Libyans, and so must Zimbabwe belong to Zimbabweans (rather than Zanu PF). If the AU and more importantly SA and SADC not get Mugabe out, then maybe the west should step in like they did with Libya.

  • Bluffbandit - 2011-09-21 01:10

    Total embarressment for me as an individual.. about turn cause they want a piece of the pie, but there is nothing they can offer of intellect nor business.. Lol

  • slg - 2011-09-21 01:46

    There's loyalty among thieves too. For high loyalty, high principles must abide. For South Africa to be loyal to a brutal, megalomaniac dictator who denied Libyans the tight to vote for thei leaders for 42 years would be devoid of high principles. I'm glad reason has prevailed. Perhaps the NTC and Botswana can now influence positive changes in other parts of the continent that need it badly: Zimbabwe.

      Anton - 2011-09-21 07:31

      Yes, Totally agree with you that racists have no place in our soceity. But what is extremely disturbing, is that over the past 5 months, reading comments on this site, most, if not all, racist comments , have come from the ones who supported gaddafi!!! And THAT is a fact!!!!

      50something - 2011-09-21 08:03

      @ Yes - Why is it that the most racists are found among the ranks of the previously oppressed - i.e. Malema and Co including the ANC??? Don't you feel free now?

      David - 2011-09-21 08:24

      @Yes, you seem slightly uneducated. Did you not know about sanctions placed on the apartheid government by the US and by the united nations? International pressure aided in the release of Nelson Mandela, as a SOUTH AFRICAN YOU SHOULD KNOW THESE THINGS. CHASE the racists? Like Charles Taylor and Samuel Doe? Do you even know who these people are? Probably not. They proved that violence only leads to more violence. Educate yourself on political matters properly.

  • Craig Louw - 2011-09-21 01:56

    I urge you to read up on what the African agenda is. Yes there really Is such a thing and then maybe the president's actions become clear. The rhetoric that Julius and Mugabe spew is actually a perversion of the "african agenda" the south African government (ANC) actually supports this rubbish and Gaddaffi is also against the US.

  • ChumScrubber - 2011-09-21 06:00

    Rather revolting how the AU and SA have behaved re Libya. Its impossible to have any respect for people like this. Loyalty to however seems to have the power it seems, nothing about morals. Has the AU ever actually resolved any issues in Africa. What a spineless bunch of creatures.

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-21 06:01


  • Nogeen - 2011-09-21 06:07

    Het Zuma tot die besef gekom hy mag volgende wees?

      alansmart223 - 2011-10-14 01:35

      Hy is te dom en dikvellig. Maar as hy aanhou sulke blapse maak, gaan hy vroèr of later sy gat sien

  • marcelminnaar - 2011-09-21 07:00

    Love the ANC... first they tell the world to leave Gadaffi alone, and now they're like a little dog with its tail between its legs...

  • safather - 2011-09-21 07:04

    I'm afraid it's too late for us to get our slice of oil.

  • Verdade - 2011-09-21 07:05

    Took some time.......... but finally they've realized Big Daddy is gone - no more freebies!

  • Anton - 2011-09-21 07:08

    It is mind bogging how one psychopath has caused the deaths of tens of thousands. But it beyond believe, that a democratically elected government, supported this tyrant, till the bitter end. The thought that our government was prepared to allow a leader to turn on his own people, and mow them down ,in what must be one of the most brutal oppressions in modern times, is to say the least; very scary!!!

      Zeus vdm - 2011-09-21 07:22


      phill.erasmus - 2011-09-21 08:37

      But is that not what our government did for Zimbabwe? Supporting the leader no matter what he does to his country and people?

      Fred - 2011-09-21 10:52

      This is not the first time that the ANC has either turned a blind eye or supported murderous regimes, SA did nothing about the atrocities in Burundi, nor did they try and stop the genocide in Rwanda, to date they have stood by and for the last 17 years watched and supported the murders, destruction and theft committed by Robert Mugabe against the Zimbabwean people, as yet nothing has been said about Bashir and his murderous war that is continuing in Southern Sudan nor the murder of 100's of Syrians, Zuma and the AU are a useless bag of stale air.

  • Sisie - 2011-09-21 07:19

    I can just imagine that conversation - Obama " Hey you now listen to me if you don't support the new Liyba you can say good bye to all that lovely oil and support from the USA" Zuma " Oh Okay!"

  • Cynic - 2011-09-21 07:23

    Put an H in front of AU and you get HAU!!

  • TaSaqz - 2011-09-21 07:32

    This is all wrong. We have a sad lack of political leadership in Africa. Come on Africans, let's free our minds from the chains of collonialism. Only then, shall we be truly free. Don't get me wrong though: Destiny has brought us to co-exist peacefully right here, in our beautiful South Africa, the 'whites' and Africans.Let's educate each other,like we used to say during the struggle: Each one, teach one!

      50something - 2011-09-21 08:05

      Why "whites" and Africans? Are we not all Africans?

      Fred - 2011-09-21 11:03

      Colonialism has nothing to do with this, without colonialism you'd still be without roads, rail, aeroplanes, electricity,phones, schools, hospitals, legal system, computers and Zuma wouldn't have been able to hire a private jet to fly him to the UN, stop blaming others for your short comings and you'll be taking a large stride to sorting out your problems.

  • Zeus vdm - 2011-09-21 07:41

    "The sound of one hand clapping"

  • PRKER - 2011-09-21 07:43

    The AU is "ponderous" - kind words for this organisation of no power and no action.

      PRKER - 2011-09-21 07:48

      And SA is "Last and Least". Fuel prices up next. No worries "the people will pay'.

  • bluewire123 - 2011-09-21 07:45

    Wow, this is just such a negative article. You would think that SA has made a foreign policy mistake by deciding against supporting Libya, the way this article is headlined and written. Pure bias journalism against anything govt does.

      Julian - 2011-09-21 07:57

      Umm, no bluewire. We're sneering that South Africa first supported a corrupt and violent dictator, and only now that there is no chance he will regain power, did Zuma and Co. decide to recognise the new Libyan leadership. We're saying Zuma should have ditched Gaddaffi from the get go.

      Felix - 2011-09-21 10:47

      You new here?

      Fred - 2011-09-21 11:08

      Actually we first supported the UN resoltion, then we remembered how much we owe Gaddafi and thought he was winning and changed our minds, then we saw he was losing actually had lost and changed our minds again, what a rather indecisive lot we are, what a cowardly dishonest lot we are.

  • 50something - 2011-09-21 08:01

    So Zuma goes with the flow - only last week he had many reasons for not reconizing the rebels. Laughable - He finally realised that the world does not actually care a hoot what he and the AU says or think.

  • shrubber - 2011-09-21 08:04

    Didn't Gaddafi's Libya buy Zimbabwe when they supplied them with oil on tick about 6 years back?

  • sessisie - 2011-09-21 08:08

    The president (JZ) never was the sharpest knive in the drawer.

  • flummoxed - 2011-09-21 08:10

    So no more 'kissy kissy!?'

  • cj - 2011-09-21 08:10

    Again Media 24 and its bloggers reveal their racial prejudices. Not too long ago, when Zuma, abiding by AU policy refused to attend the European Big Meeting To Divide The Spoils, he was called an idiot for acting on principle rather than narrow interest. Now, when they do decide to recognize the NTC, because it really is all over, they are accused of "throwing loyalty out of the window", being "low-life scum", etc. This, because they took the principled stance all along, trying to resolve the issue in a democratic manner (Ghaddafi accepted the AU proposal of holding free and fair elections - surely the people of the country have the right to decide who should govern the country ?) as opposed to the criminal manner in which NATO went about it ( breach of resolution 1973), and joining the rest of the vultures over the dead body of Libya. SA's status has been greatly enhanced by this affair, but you bias and prejudice is so absolute that you cannot see this.

      Zeus vdm - 2011-09-21 08:16

      We didn't get the choice of our president it was pushed on us!

      cj - 2011-09-21 08:33

      Were you prevented from voting ?

      Zeus vdm - 2011-09-21 08:36

      I voted for my party but had no choice of the leader, did you?

      Felix - 2011-09-21 10:50

      "principled stance" = "Spreading your bets", fixed it for you.

      Fred - 2011-09-21 11:15

      Gaddafi was a murdering scoundrel, only low life scum would support him against the will of the Libyian people. At no stage did the UN purposefully breach the UN resolution, Gaddafi had his armour, heavy artillery and soldiers hidden amongst the civilian population, in Mosques, hospitals and schools, he is also liable for the death of nearly 30000 civilian.

      pba - 2011-09-21 14:56

      Who was criminal? Gaddafi or Nato? How blind must one be to not accept realities. Ask some of the 50000 political prisoners that Gaddafi just took away from their families and you will get an aswer. Or raise the question why satistically every citizen earnded 22,000$ p.a., yet over 60% of the people had to live on less than 100$ per month.

  • mike881 - 2011-09-21 08:23

    The statement "The pan-African body, which has frequently been criticised for its ponderous reaction to events on its doorstep" is an understatement. The SA government must be sitting with egg on their faces right now considering their earlier stance to Libya NTC.

  • Bed Rock - 2011-09-21 08:23

    1 Dictatorship dies in the North while 1 is on the rise in the South.

  • Coach99 - 2011-09-21 08:28

    dont you think mr zuma is undermining Jujus african agenda by doing this??

  • BigMoose - 2011-09-21 09:00

    The African Underpants, always on the bum.

      mike881 - 2011-09-21 14:34

      Excellent;) You get my vote for best comment of the day!!

  • isabel.defaria - 2011-09-21 10:43

    Freedom of speech is abused on these forums just cannot understand why it is necessary to disrespect the president of our country. We don't all agree with him, but at least show some respect for the office he holds for goodness sake. It is not necessary to use the language & racial insults which seems to dominate most of these comments. Can we not be civil to each other without the insults.

      dwnwitjuju - 2011-09-21 13:38

      There is no such thing as ABUSE of freedom of speech - that is why it is a freedom. If you disagree, say so. If you agree, say so. If you have a different opinion, share it. We are not politicians, and we are not bound by any code of conduct. We speak our minds as we please.

      mike881 - 2011-09-21 15:09

      Isabel it is called "Democracy" and an idiot stays an idiot irrespective of the office or position he or she occupies. In the USA when the idiot george bush was in power, many musicians, actors, sportsmen etc openly belittled and lambasted gw for his idiotic actions. Many even adopted the famous "Not my President" stance. Frankly zuma and co are getting off extremely lightly considering their corrupt, nepotistic and idiotic actions to date.

  • letsee - 2011-09-21 10:46

    WoW, but it took time to see the reality.

  • dwnwitjuju - 2011-09-21 13:35

    Typical ANC government thinking - wait until there is no other choice, then act like you agree with what is happening. What a joke! Now if they would only stop acting like every country that once supported the NATS is the devil and realize that those countries (mainly the USA) could be great allies in creating jobs and bringing a better life for all South Africans! But no, they act as if they don't need help from anyone, especially the largest economy around. Take a wake-up pill all you cANCerous idiots, and commie wanna-be. There is a reason the west is successful.

  • BreakdownBoy - 2011-09-21 15:09

    ANC full of hypocrites, supporting tyrants like Ghadafi, don't they see that he and Verwoerd are one and the same thing.

  • Al - 2011-09-22 07:11

    One hand oils the other and that is the law of the African jungle. No way has JZ turned his back on Gaddafi - there is always a hidden agenda with these guys............

  • mpiyakhe.dhlamini - 2011-10-13 23:05

    to be fair,the sa gov never said the ntc was illegimate just that nato unilaterally decided to act as the ntc's airforce thereby overstepping its un mandate and disrespecting the au.i mean it is ridiculous that our proposed roadmap was not even given a chance,in international politics this is the same situation that occured when us imposed sanctions on iran without giving the solution presented by brazil and turkey a chance,both countries were understandably angered

  • alansmart223 - 2011-10-14 00:50

    Zuma's turn about on the Libya issues convince me that he must have been smoking some strange stuff and has only now become sober enough to see how stupid his stand was in supporting them. What a bloody dumb man we have to live with. Likewise his support for that Mogabi. he is an embarrasment to the majority of South Africans

  • Manie - 2011-10-14 05:38

    Hope the new Leader of Libia realises that JZ and the AU will backstab him too in future if it suits their pockets!

  • John - 2011-10-14 16:29

    African and Union are two words which do not belong together

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