President Jacob Zuma of South Africa has told the meeting of the African Union High Level AdHoc Committee on the crisis in Libya that despite numerous efforts, there is a military stalemate in that country “which we cannot and must not be allowed to drag on and on, both because of its horrendous cost in civilian lives and the potential it has to destabilize the entire sub-region”.
President Zuma was this morning speaking at the Ad Hoc Meeting in Pretoria attended by President Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania who is also the Chairman of the Committee, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President Amadou Toumani Toure of Mali and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa. President Dennis Sassou Nguesso of Congo Brazzaville is being represented by a ministerial delegation.
President Zuma said that the continuing bombing by NATO and its allies is a concern that has been raised by the AU Ad Hoc Committee and the AU Assembly because the intention of Resolution 1973 was to protect the Libyan people and facilitate the humanitarian effort. He added that the intention was not to authorize a campaign of regime change or political assassination. Mr. Zuma told the meeting that their current meeting in Pretoria is being held at an exceptionally grave time for Libya because the people of Libya are looking up to the meeting to end the carnage that is in their country.
He added that the people of Africa want an immediate end to the conflict in Libya and the beginning of the process towards a democratic dispensation in Libya. Mr. Zuma told the meeting that “we are charged with the responsibility to lead the efforts of the AU in finding a peaceful, political settlement in Libya on the basis of the AU Roadmap on Libya. He announced that since its establishment four months ago, the Ad Hoc Committee has met several times and held discussions with the Libyan parties on a number of occasions, including Libyan leader Col. Gadhafi and the Transitional National Council that is fighting the Government of Col. Gadhaffi.