27 August 2011

Libya: President Jacob Zuma Returns From African Union Peace And Security Council Meeting

Photo: Nkosana Dlamini
Libyans in Zimbabwe celebrate Muammar al-Gaddafi's fall. Harare, which backs Gaddafi, is considering expelling the Libyan ambassador after he defected to the opposition.

press release

President Jacob Zuma has this morning, 27 August 2011, returned from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he attended the 291st Peace and Security Council meeting of the African Union (AU).

President Zuma chaired the meeting in the absence of the current PSC chairperson, President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, who was held up by matters of state in Burundi.

The meeting noted the developments that have taken place in Libya, and reiterated that the AU's road map to attain a political solution remained suitable to help the Libyan people to address their current crisis in their country.

"We are concerned by the security and humanitarian situation, given that heavy fighting is still going on in Libya leading to loss of life. We still believe that had the AU been allowed space to work, heavy loss of life would have been averted. From the AU point of view we want to see stability.

We believe that the AU road map is still relevant. We need inclusivity, a situation where all groups involved in the conflict sit around the table and solve the problem together.

"There is more than one group that claims authority and support in Libya, and a solution will need to include all of them. They must all come together and negotiate a peaceful process that will lead to the formation of an inclusive transitional government and democracy in Libya."

Once an inclusive transitional government was formed, it would be able to occupy the seat of Libya in the AU.

"Article 30 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union states that governments that come to power through unconstitutional means would not be allowed to participate in the activities of the Union. We cannot act outside of that, but the road map will help the Libyans work towards the normalisation of the situation," President Zuma said.

President Zuma's reiterated the need for the world to respect the pivotal role of the African Union in resolving a crisis facing an African state, which is a member of the AU. "Any successful solution in Libya will have to be Libyan-led and African-led to ensure sustainability, credibility and legitimacy".

President Zuma was accompanied by the Minister of State Security, Dr Siyabonga Cwele.

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