South Africa welcomes and supports the UN Security Council’s resolution on no fly zone in Libya, 18 March 2011
South Africa is deeply concerned about the deteriorating political and humanitarian situation in Libya; which is fast becoming a full blown civil war. It is our hope that this situation will be resolved in a peaceful manner in accordance with the will of the Libyan people.
A holistic political solution must be found that would respect democracy; political reform; justice; human rights as well as the socio – economic development needs of the people of Libya; in order to ensure long – term peace and stability. This solution must also preserve the unity; sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Libya.
It is in this context that South Africa commends the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council to dispatch an Ad – Hoc High Level Committee to Libya to intensify efforts towards finding a lasting political solution to the crisis in Libya; in the best interests of its people. We urge this Committee; of which South Africa is a member; to work closely with the Special Envoy of the Secretary General to Libya; and the League of Arab States in coordinating the search for peaceful political solution in this regard.
In adopting Resolution 1970; the Security Council had hoped that the Libyan authorities would act responsibly and stop committing more acts of violence against their own people. The authorities have defied this Resolution and continued to kill and displace thousands of civilians whilst continuing to violate their human rights.
We believe that the United Nations and the Security Council could not be silent nor be seen to be doing nothing in the face of such grave acts of violence committed against innocent civilians.
We believe that by adopting this Resolution 1973; which South Africa has voted in favor; the Security Council has responded appropriately to the call of the countries of the region to strengthen the implementation of Resolution 1970 and has acted responsibly to protect and save the lives of defenseless civilians who are faced with brutal acts of violence carried out by the Libyan authorities.
South Africa believes that the adoption of these additional measures including a ceasefire and no – fly zone as authorized by this Resolution; constitute an important element for the protection of civilians and the safety of the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those most vulnerable and those desperately in need of such assistance.
As a matter of principle; we have supported the Resolution with the necessary caveats to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya; and rejecting any foreign occupation or unilateral military intervention under the pretext of protection of civilians. It is our hope that this Resolution will be implemented in full respect for both its letter and spirit.
We are confident that this is consistent with the African Union Peace and Security Council decision to “respect the unity and territorial integrity of Libya as well as its rejection of any foreign military intervention; whatever its form”.
South Africa will continue to work through this Council, the AU and other multilateral as well as bilateral platforms to contribute towards a speedy resolution of the Libyan crisis in a manner consistent with the aspirations of the people of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
For further information please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
Private Bag X 152
18 March 2011