Oslo: South Africa disagrees with NATO's
military intervention in Libya, which is why it will take no
part in today's conference in Paris dedicated to rebuilding
the war-torn country, President Jacob Zuma said.
"We are not happy" with the way UN resolution 1973 was
implemented to allow air strikes on Libya, Zuma told a news
conference during a state visit to Norway.
"If any measure of military would be used, it was to help
to protect people, as we understood (things, who) could have
been killed," he said, explaining why South Africa, a
temporary member of the UN Security Council, had voted in
favour of the no-fly zone over Libya but opposed NATO air
"But instead of protecting, it became the bombing, (as)
cover for the other group (the rebels) to advance," he said.
Zuma has repeatedly criticised NATO for using the UN
resolution to help the rebels against Muammar Gaddafi, and
cautioned last week that the NATO-led use of force had
undermined Africa's peace efforts.
Making his comments today just hours before the opening
of the Paris conference organised by France and Britain, who
were the driving forces behind the air strikes, Zuma also
reiterated that the Libyan reconstruction should be headed by
the African Union and the UN.
Within the African Union framework, South Africa, which
so far has refused to recognise the National Transitional
Council (NTC), had attempted in vain to mediate peace between
Gaddafi's ousted government and the rebels.
First Published: Thursday, September 01, 2011, 21:00