Libya: Good intentions misused – Zuma


President Jacob Zuma says the good intentions of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1973 on Libya has been misused. Addressing the National Assembly on the occasion of the budget vote debate of The Presidency, Zuma again expressed unease about events in the North African state.

“We are concerned about the ongoing conflict in Libya which is resulting in the loss of innocent lives, the destruction of property and a deteriorating humanitarian situation,” Zuma said. “We have spoken out against the misuse of the good intentions in Resolution 1973, which was co-sponsored by the Arab League and supported by African countries in the UN Security Council. We strongly believe that the Resolution is being abused for regime change, political assassinations and foreign military occupation.”

The UNSC in March adopted Resolution 1973, which called for the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya and authorised UN member states to “take all necessary measures” to protect civilians and “civilian-populated areas under threat of attack.” Military forces from the United States, France and Great Britain began to enforce the resolution from March 19. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has since taken over leadership of the mission, with US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron calling for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster. Some states, most recently Germany, yesterday, have also recognised the rebel National Transitional Council “as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.”

Zuma decried this: “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. All parties must respect human rights and comply with international humanitarian law.
“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.
“We express the hope that, following the briefing by the Ministers of the African Union ad-hoc High Level Committee on Libya to the UN Security Council tomorrow, 15th of June, common ground would be found on a political track as the best means towards a durable solution to the Libyan crisis.