Republic of South Africa President Jacob Zuma with Libyan Leader of the Revolution Muammar Gaddafi during a state visit in Tripoli on May 30, 2011. Zuma representing the African Union called for an end to NATO airstrikes., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
AU must make its position on Libya clear: expert
By Ntandoyenkosi Ncube
JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Western intervention in Libya that left Africa Union (AU) "marginalized" was "principled opportunism", an African Conflict Prevention expert has said, indicating that the situation in Tripoli is a "rebellion and not a popular uprising".
Senior researcher on African Conflict Prevention Program Issaka Souare from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said this as South African President Jacob Zuma is expected to meet members of the AU committee on Libya this week.
The senior researcher also called on Africa to spell out its position on the conflict and war-torn oil rich African nation.
He suggested "suspension of Libya from the AU".
"My suggestion to them (Africa leaders) would be to clearly state their position vis-a-vis Libya and I would be more inclined towards the suspension of Libya from the AU, considering what has happened there as a case of unconstitutional change of the government," Souare said to Xinhua in an interview on Wednesday.
On Tuesday South African President Zuma said the AU still has an important role to play in Libya, adding that the UN Security Council resolution 1973 had been "abused to further means other than to protect civilians."
"This is a rebellion and not a popular uprising," the researcher said.
ISS work towards a prosperous, stable and peaceful Africa characterized by sustainable development, adherence to human rights.
Emphasizing Libya's suspension from the AU, Souare said that the African governments must craft strategic conditions that give AU significance upon Libya re-admission.
"But because Libya is an African country, it must be re- admitted at one point," he said. "I would thus suggest to the AU to have some objective criteria based on which the country will be readmitted, and these conditions should be so strategically crafted that they give a role to the AU to play," said Souare.
"Such conditions could include, for example, national reconciliation, inclusive and democratic elections and that the AU must be in a position to certify that the conditions are indeed met," Souare told Xinhua.
The senior researcher called on the United Nations to ensure that the Libyan people lead own any process of rebuilding their country, and that "it prevents individual Western countries from exploiting the situation and abusing the name of the UN for their own purposes."