S.Africa demands end to Libyan attacks on civilians

March 10, 2011 12:00 am

, PRETORIA, Mar 10 – South African President Jacob Zuma told Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi during a recent phone call to end immediately the killing of civilians, foreign minister Maite Nkoane-Mashebane said Thursday.

"Kadhafi called our president," she told a news conference, though she would not say when the phone call took place.

"He told Kadhafi how we abhor the heinous violation of human rights against his own people," she said.

"We took advantage of this call to our president to tell Kadhafi that we abhor killing and that this has to stop immediately."

Zuma also compared the violence in Libya to infamous massacres by the whites-only apartheid regime in South Africa, she said.

"He told him to remember that the last time a government turned its guns on its own people was in this country at Sharpeville in 1960 and Soweto in 1976," she said.

The minister also said that South Africa\’s stance on a proposed no-fly zone over Libya would be determined by a meeting Thursday of the African Union\’s Peace and Security Council.

The UN Security Council is expected Thursday to hear a report from its special envoy on the human rights situation in Libya, as NATO defense ministers also prepared to meet in Brussels seeking consensus on a no-fly zone, humanitarian missions and other possible military action.

Nkoane-Mashebane said any decision taken by NATO must also win approval from the UN Security Council.

"There will be no decision by NATO that can be implemented without first passing through the UN Security Council," the minister said.


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