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Zuma slams Nato Libya operation as AU panel meets

Reuters/Ismail Zitouny

South African President Jacob Zuma slammed Nato’s operation in Libya at the opening of the African Union’s (AU) Libya panel meeting in Pretoria. Rebels said they expected a proposal from Moamer Kadhafi “very soon” through French and South African intermediaries.


The UN resolution authorising the Nato bombing campaign “was not to authorise a campaign for regime change or political assassination", Zuma reportedly told opening talks of the AU panel on Libya.


He accused the military alliance of exceeding its mandate to “protect the Libyan people and facilitate the humanitarian effort".

British officials claim to be tracking Kadhafi’s movements and refraining from killing him because of the terms of the resolution, according to the Guardian newspaper on Friday.

Zuma, who visited Libya last month, also called on both Kadhafi and the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) to make compromises to end the conflict, which could “destabilise the entire sub-region”.

An AU “roadmap” calls for a ceasefire and reforms "necessary for the elimination of the causes of the current crisis", but the TNC insists that Kadhafi end his grip on power as a condition for accepting any deal.

In other news from Libya:

  • The TNC expects an offer from Kadhafi very soon, TNC vice-chairman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga told the AFP news agency late Saturday;
  • There was heavy fighting in the plains below the rebel-held enclave in the Nafusa Mountains, south-west of Tripoli, on Sunday;
  • A boat carrying 106 passengers, mainly women, children and old people, arrived in Tripoli from rebel-held Benghazi, allowing them to be reunited with relatives.

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