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NATO abusing UN resolutions on Libya: Zuma

NATO is abusing the United Nations resolution meant to protect Libyan civilians for regime change and “political assassinations,” South African President Jacob Zuma said Tuesday.

“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,” Zuma said in a speech to parliament.

Zuma held “lengthy discussions” with Moamer Kadhafi last month but failed to close the gap between the Libyan leader and rebels on a peace plan proposed by the African Union.

He said NATO’s actions undermined AU efforts in finding solutions, saying: “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,” Zuma said.

He 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.

South Africa has consistently slammed the air strikes against Kadhafi’s regime despite voting for the United Nations’ no-fly zone resolution that led to the NATO campaign.

But it has simultaneously condemned attacks on civilians as a “heinous violation of human rights against (Kadhafi’s) own people.”