SA donates R2m for Libyan refugees

South Africa has donated R2 million to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to assist refugees fleeing Libya, Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said today.

Announcing the donation at a press conference in Pretoria, Nkoana-Mashabane called for a peaceful solution to the fighting in Libya.

She also called for a stop to bombings by Nato forces to allow an African Union delegation to visit Libya in a bid to bring about a peaceful solution.

Referring to the UN resolution establishing a no-fly zone, she said: “The vote on no-fly zone was meant to protect civilians and should just be that. It was never meant to support regime change.”

She said that change in Libya needed to be brought about peacefully by the Libyan people themselves.

The South African government had not been in direct contact with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in recent weeks.

Referring to Zimbabwe, Nkoana-Mashabane said she believed the Southern African Development Community (SADC) call for all parties in Zimbabwe to stop violence, intimidation and hate speech would be heeded.

“We will refuse the temptation to respond in anger,” she said.

Ealier this week, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said he would not bend to SADC’s demands to end a stand-off in the power-sharing coalition with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangarai.

Nkoana-Mashabane said SADC “had teeth” to ensure that all parties abided by the power-sharing agreement.

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