SA calls on AU to end Libya violence

2011-02-28 15:56

Johannesburg - South Africa called on the African Union on Monday to end the "excessive use of force against demonstrators" in the violence-ridden north African state of Libya.

"As the situation in Libya continues to deteriorate we would like to reiterate our support for the call made by the AU Peace and Security Council for an 'end to the indiscriminate and excessive use of force against demonstrators'," said International Relations Deputy Minister Marius Fransman.

"Furthermore, we urge the Libyan government to abide by UN Security Council Resolution 1970 and ensure the safety of foreign nationals and their assets, and to facilitate the departure of those wishing to leave the country as well as the safe passage of humanitarian and medical supplies, humanitarian agencies and workers, into Libya in order to assist the Libyan people," he said in a statement.

Fransman said 30 South Africans had been evacuated from Libya, as well as nine Southern African Development Community (SADC) citizens.

"After careful assessment of the security situation on the ground in Tripoli it was decided that all South African diplomatic personnel would also evacuate until such time as it is safe to return to Libya."

The South African government would continue to monitor the situation in Libya and remained "committed to provide assistance upon request from the Libyan people in ensuring a smooth transition to democratic rule", said Fransman.

Earlier on Monday, Libya's ambassador to South Africa Abdullah Alzubedi called on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to resign.

"He must do the right thing for the people of Libya," said Alzubedi.

"He must consider [resigning] in the interests of the country and stop killing innocent people," he told the National Press Club in Pretoria.

Alzubedi said he was satisfied with the response from the South African government to the situation in his home country.

Alzubedi said that although communication with Tripoli had broken down, said Libyan ambassadors in various countries were trying to keep in touch as much as possible as the political turmoil in their country continued.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance called on President Jacob Zuma to revoke Alzubedi's credentials, and questioned why Zuma himself had failed to publicly criticise Gaddafi.

"While [Alzubedi] is right to call for Gaddafi to resign, we feel that the ambassador has not gone nearly far enough in his condemnation of the regime.

"If he truly believed that he was no longer the dictator's envoy, he would have resigned," said DA spokesperson Stevens Mokgalapa.

The United Nations Security Council has condemned the Libyan government's "indiscriminate and excessive use of force against peaceful protesters", a resolution which was welcomed on Sunday by the department of international relations and co-operation.

The United States, Britain and the UN Security Council all slapped sanctions on Libya this weekend.

Gaddafi, who has been labelled a "lunatic" and "out of touch with reality", criticised the sanctions against his country and vowed to stay in power, saying Libyans were behind him.

Quoting the UN refugee agency UNHCR, international news agencies reported on Monday that the unrest in Libya had killed at least 1 000 people.

Protests against Gaddafi's 41-year rule started two weeks ago, sparking violent crack-downs by security forces.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Monday "strongly condemned" the killings.

"Cosatu strongly condemns the massacre of more than 1 000 protesters by the government of Libya and demands that people be allowed to exercise their basic human right to demonstrate peacefully," it said in a statement.

  • kobussw - 2011-02-28 16:03

    Like they will listen to what SA has to say. HAHA, what a joke!

      Oryx_ZA - 2011-02-28 16:32

      I think we have a say in the African Union...its more like why would gaddafi listen to the AU. What concerns me is how quite the ANC are on his public and obvious killings....we have no right to be on the security council

  • Gorilla - 2011-02-28 16:11

    At last they speak. About damn time. I get the feeling though that they were just waiting to see what the rest of the world did before they nailed their colours to the mast. Lets hope they don't offer Gadaffi safe haven in the now vacant Haitian chaps mansion.

      Maddy-CT - 2011-02-28 16:21

      Yes, they took their time. Yet they are quick to condemn Israel. Their hypocracy and double standards is sickening!

      Maddy-CT - 2011-02-28 16:23

      Sorry, 'hypocrisy'

      Gorilla - 2011-02-28 16:34

      Fashionable Maddy. Political correctness is fashionable. Look at people like U2 and Bob Geldhof, they have made fortunes on the back of political correctness.

  • za101 - 2011-02-28 16:16

    I dont know why the DA is acting all funny against the Ambassador now. They are being like Bush and Blair. Nothing is good enough The ambassador made the right decision today

  • craiggib - 2011-02-28 16:16

    Its actually quite funny watching this from a political point of view. The government is between a rock and a hard place, choosing to let the AU do the dirty work rather than publicly condemn someone who supported them during the struggle. Would be no different if this was happening on our northern border. SA politics - no balls since 1999.

  • Francois - 2011-02-28 16:20

    Hey Fransman, when are you going to urge the Zimbabwean government to abide by UN Security Council Resolution 1970 and ensure the safety of foreign nationals and their assets? When are you going to urge Mugabe to not commit violence on his own innocent citizens?

  • tshepotheterminator - 2011-02-28 16:26

    why is the da commentating..... surely this is above the scope and pay grade of the da hahahahahah the da trying to throw its weight around to the internatioanl community bwahahhahaha.... the da what a joke... the da must just shut the hell up they really are pathetic and useless you know.. Libya must listen to its close friend south africa and stop the violence....Gidaffi is more than welcome to come live in south africa with a state owned mansion in the western cape as well if you stop the violence... eish we could even see gidaffi at brother kunenes club in capt town.... something tells me he will be right at home in the cape

      Mumford - 2011-02-28 16:31

      @thsepo....why are these oysters raw.You muuuust coook them

      Mumford - 2011-02-28 16:33

      thsepo is like the sherminator from American Pie!This sushi is raw!you muuuust coook it or i tell juju

      colin langley - 2011-02-28 16:36


      theoldmanofthemountains - 2011-02-28 16:41

      Tshepo, your headman called. Please could you return ASAP - the village is missing its idiot.

      Freakfloyd - 2011-02-28 16:46

      You are well beyond idiotic, pity you.

      colin langley - 2011-02-28 17:11

      Shame Thulani...i reckon you are another idiot using a computer. Funny how the freedom charter (yeah..that one..the one that YOU guys came up with) conforms to a non racial society..great dreams by great men who once ruled within the anc. No anymore i'm afriad...and it's funny that you vote for your friend Tspeo the stupid because he is black...what about all the racist things he says on here...oh..yeah..i forgot./.black people can;t be racist...i pity you and him..i really do. You will see the errors of your ways, because you don't have any power you still suffer, and you will always suffer because you are too blind to see what is happening around you. You think the anc cares about you?...Oh Hell no!...So go read that freedom charter again...educate yourself on your history before throwing insults least my insult was the truth

      Totman - 2011-02-28 17:46

      Maybe he must rather resign and be ready for when the people ask him to continue, but ja, the Da's japing can get sometimes a bit much, however I must admit they are doing a good job in Western Cape. Why are you japing so much? It is not weekend yet....or are you planning to have a short week?lol. thulani, Tshepo was keeping it clean. You must not come and pull him in, into your "colourfull" comment!!!(baile loco) specially for you!

  • dstroya - 2011-02-28 16:30

    wakey wakey!!!

  • patrice - 2011-02-28 16:37

    One can only chuckle at the pompous posturing of our comrade leaders - asking Gaddafi to behave is like asking a taxi driver to obey the rules of the road.

  • Hulisani Xwi - 2011-02-28 16:49

    It is astiunding that DA always sees resignation as a means of condeming the Lybian regime. Indeed,Alzubed was appointed by the Gadaffis's government and if Gadaffis still have the power to fire if he feels it is justifiable. But Alzubed was not serving Gadaffi as a person but the Libyans.Therefore his condemnation of the actions of his leader are just and suitable for the cirscumstance in that country - not a resignation. How does resigning better the situation whatsoever - he even looses the power to speak against the babaric actions of Gadaffi. DA people, dont oppose for the sake of opposing.

  • panda559 - 2011-02-28 16:54

    Funny how this government can advise every other country and its own citizens on the best course of action but is very quite about it's exact foreign policy about it's relationship with depots like Mugabe.Hmm opium for the masses.

  • panda559 - 2011-02-28 17:02

    Funny how this government can advise every other country and its own citizens on the best course of action but is very quite about it's exact foreign policy about it's relationship with depots like Mugabe.Hmm opium for the masses.

  • Totman - 2011-02-28 17:06

    How must they do it? Kiss him to death? They cant even control some of there mercenaries that is fighting for Gaddafi.

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