South Africa shifts stance on Libya crisis


Former South African president, Jacob Zuma

from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) SOUTH Africa is against military intervention in the crisis-torn Libya.

It instead is in favour of political dialogue to resolve the myriad of crises in the North African country.

This represents a shift in stance adopted in 2011 when South Africa, then under the administration of Jacob Zuma, supported the military intervention led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The controversial interference led to the ouster and murder of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

South Africa is now under President Cyril Ramaphosa and as chair of the African Union (AU), is pushing the “Silencing the Guns” agenda.

Jerry Matthews Matjila, its permanent representative to the United Nations, this week voted in favour of dialogue, in the form of the Security Council in extending by one year the mandate of its integrated special political mission in Libya.

“All parties must commit to a political dialogue,” he stressed.

The envoy nonetheless noted the AU’s concern with the continued stalemate in Libya.

He welcomed cooperation between his bloc and the UN, as well as strong support from neighbouring countries, and praised the start of talks now being hosted by Morocco.

“These will hopefully lead to a lasting peace in Libya,” Matjila said.

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) was created in the aftermath of the 2011 civil war.

It is a political mission, not a military one.

– CAJ News

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