22 August 2011

Libya: Johannesberg Denies Sending Plane to Help Gaddafi

Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says South Africa has not sent planes to Libya to allow embattled leader Moamer Kadhafi to leave the country. "The South Africa government would like to refute and dispel the rumours and claims that it has sent planes to Libya to fly Colonel Kadhafi and his family to an undisclosed location," she said.

"Nobody has asked for asylum in South Africa, and as far as Johannesburg is aware, Kadhafi remains in Libya," she added.

She explained that South Africa continues to talks to both parties in Libya but "as peace brokers we have got no reason to create a state within the state."

Heavy fighting raged Monday near the Tripoli compound of embattled Libyan leader the day after jubilant rebel forces surged into the symbolic heart of the capital.

"With the imminent fall of the government of colonel Kadhafi, we wish to urge the interim authorities in Tripoli to immediately institute an all-inclusive inter-Libyan political dialogue aimed at building a truly representative and people-centered dispensation" the foreign minister said in Johannesburg.

A high-level African Union committee will meet Thursday to consider the situation in Libya, she said. An AU road-map out of the Libyan crisis remains on the table, she added.

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