South African President Jacob Zuma expressed disappointment over the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Moamer Kadhafi on Monday, his spokesman said.
“President Zuma is extremely disappointed and concerned on the issuing of a warrant by the ICC against Colonel Kadhafi,” said presidential spokesman Zizi Kodwa on public broadcaster SABC radio.
“It’s quite unfortunate that the ICC could take such a decision whilst the African Union through its adhoc committee has done so much.
“I think the progress so far signals that there’s a commitment now from both the side of the Libyan authority led by Kadhafi and the TNC (Transitional National Council) and therefore the latest development does undermine and dampens the spirit of the work of the adhoc committee.”
Kadhafi’s arrest warrant comes after African leaders Sunday welcomed his decision to stay out of talks to end Libya’s conflict in what appeared to be a concession.
The panel “welcomes Colonel Kadhafi’s acceptance of not being part of the negotiations process,” AU peace and security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra said, reading a prepared statement issued after four hours of talks Sunday.
ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo had sought the warrants for Kadhafi, 69, his son Seif al-Islam, 39, and the head of Libyan intelligence, Abdullah al-Senussi, 62, for murder and persecution since mid-February, when the bloody uprising started.
All three are charged over their roles in suppressing the revolt, in which civilians were murdered and persecuted by Libyan forces, particularly in Tripoli, Benghazi and Misrata, the prosecutor said.