No S.African recognition for Libya NTC ahead of African meet

13th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

South African President Jacob Zuma said Tuesday the African Union still does not recognise Libya's new leaders, on the eve of a regional meeting in Pretoria on the latest developments in the conflict.

"The AU as an organisation has not recognised the NTC," or National Transitional Council, Jacob Zuma told parliament.

The AU panel on Libya -- which includes the leaders of Uganda, Mauritania, Mali and Congo-Brazzaville -- will meet in Pretoria on Wednesday as the World Bank on Tuesday added to growing global acknowledgment of Tripoli's new rulers.

Zuma defended South Africa's fierce criticism of NATO's bombing campaign in Libya, even though his country voted at the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone.

"The resolution was very clear, the resolution did not say NATO must bomb Libya. That's not the resolution," said Zuma.

"After Kadhafi air forces had attacked the innocent protesters, the UN Security Council met and took a resolution to protect the airspace, that is what the resolution says. What has happened is that some countries have abused that resolution and we have said this on countless occasions."

South Africa's efforts to mediate peace between the anti-Kadhafi forces and the regime have failed.

Pretoria has stuck to a largely ignored AU roadmap and has accused the NATO-led force of undermining the continent's peace efforts.

Foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane earlier told journalists that the meeting Wednesday would focus on the AU call for an inclusive government in Tripoli.

She said the AU believes "that the NTC is an opportunity to create an all-inclusive interim government to prepare for a democratic government through a democratic election, preceded by an interim constitution."

The inclusive government should represent all of Libya's people, said Nkoana-Mashabane.

South Africa boycotted a recent conference on rebuilding the war-torn country in Paris, saying it was unhappy with how the UN agreement was implemented.

© 2011 AFP

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