South Africa hopes Kadhafi death brings peace to Libya

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South Africa on Thursday said it hoped the death of strongman Moamer Kadhafi would bring peace to Libya, urging the new leaders to start a process of building national unity and reconciliation.

"The South African government sincerely hopes that the latest events will lead to a cessation of hostilities and the restoration of peace," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"We urge the NTC (National Transitional Council) to begin in earnest the process of building national unity and reconciliation as well as the disarmament of all combatants and their reintegration into society."

Pretoria was committed to work with international bodies "to ensure coordinated support to the NTC and the Libyan people... in their endeavours to reconstruct their country and to bring about democratic, political and socio-economic changes," it added.

South Africa voted for a UN resolution that imposed a no-fly zone over Libya but later accused NATO of over-stepping its mandate with airstrikes aimed at protecting civilians and of blocking AU peace initiatives.

On Thursday the government again called for an inclusive political process in Libya ahead of the north African state's first democratic polls as the key to lasting peace.

"The South African government wishes to reiterate its view that a lasting and sustainable peaceful solution is possible through an all inclusive political process that will culminate in the holding of the first ever democratic elections in accordance with the roadmap as announced by the National Transitional Council," the statement said.

© 2011 AFP

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