Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has spoken out against what he termed the “misuse of the good intentions in Resolution 1973”, which was put in place as a means of dealing with the Libyan conflict.
Addressing Parliament on Tuesday, Zuma said the events in Libya have “re-emphasised the urgency for the full operationalisation, without delay, of the African Peace and Security Architecture, and also the reform of the UN Security Council.”
The President pointed out that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), which is at the helm of bombings in Libya, was pursuing regime change and political assassinations in Libya, instead of sticking to a UN resolution to protect civilians.
He said the United Nations Resolution 1973, which was only meant to enforce a no-fly zone and protect civilians in the civil war, was being abused for regime change, political assassinations and foreign military occupation.
“These actions undermine the efforts of the African Union in finding solutions to the problems facing its member states. It also flies in the face of all efforts to promote the sanctity of international law,” he said, urging all parties to respect human rights and comply with international humanitarian law.
NATO leaders have repeatedly called for Muammar Gaddafi to go and air strikes have reportedly killed one of his sons, although western leaders have ruled out the possibility of a land invasion or occupation.
Zuma has visited Libya twice since March on behalf of the African Union (AU), seeking a solution to the civil war.
On his last visit, he delivered the AU plan which the embattled government of Libya accepted, while the rebels have rejected the plan.
The AU’s peace proposal includes a comprehensive ceasefire to be monitored by the international community, reconciliation and negotiations for a constitution, and democratic elections.
Zuma said he hoped a briefing by an AU committee on Libya to the UN Security Council on Wednesday would lead to common ground being found towards a lasting solution to the crisis.
With regards to Madagascar, Zuma believed that the endorsement of a revised Road Map by the SADC Extraordinary Summit in Sandton this past weekend paves the way for the resolution of the Malagasy crisis.
“This will allow the main political stakeholders to participate in the process to restore constitutionality and civilian rule based on the will of the Malagasy people,” he told MPs.
Zuma urged political stakeholders, including the Transitional Authority in Madagascar and its president, as well as the opposition parties to accept and implement the amendments to the Road Map, saying they must fulfill the aspirations of the Malagasy people for peace, stability and socio-economic development.
The President also updated MPs on the situation in Cote d’Ivoire. He welcomed the return to peace and normalcy. However, he said the immediate challenge facing the Ivorian government was “to reunite the country, re-establish the government administration and restore law and order.”
Zuma said SA stood ready to assist the country during the process of reconciliation and reconstruction.
Moving on to Sudan, Zuma said while there were still challenges of consolidation, such as the contested oil producing area of Abyei, and tension in Kordofan, he hoped that the AU mediators – including former President Thabo Mbeki – will be able to amicably resolve this impasse between Khartoum and Juba.
With regards to Western Sahara, Zuma said South Africa had worked for the integration of a human rights aspect into the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara.
“We have done this in light of recent reports of human rights abuses against the Saharawi people.” – BuaNews