NATO has blatantly overstepped its UN resolution mandate in Libya by engaging in offensive military support to the Libyan rebels beyond the UN mandate, said a Ugandan commentary on Saturday.
The commentary by Henry Zakumumpa, entitled ‘Oil clearly written all over NATO’s intervention in Libya’, published by The Daily Monitor website said: ‘European military advisers are on the ground directing the military onslaught even in Al-Gadaffi’s final hours of resistance in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
‘Weapons have been air-dropped to rebels; NATO has trained rebel military units – all beyond its explicit UN mandate.
‘No European country will let out its aircraft carrier into the sea, risking precious European lives, without this making Euro-sense.
‘I have been to Europe several times and believe me, Europeans want to make every coin count.
‘In recent comments in Il Mattino Daily, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini was quoted as saying “our companies can rest assured. The new Libyan government will respect (oil) contracts. Saipem (Italian company) is already at work repairing Libya’s damaged oil infrastructure.”
‘He added that “there will be great opportunities for Italian companies in the healthcare and construction sectors after Colonel Al-Gadaffi’s regime collapses”.’
Meanwhile, South African presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said last week: ‘Our commitment has been absolutely clear and the AU position is clear.
‘We want a democratic order in Libya, and we want it with the least amount of deaths. And we do not believe that the pursuit of war was the correct way.
‘The challenge in Libya is how to ensure that the Libyan people take ownership of their future. And it will not happen the way some parties are already saying.’
South Africa’s Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on Wednesday called on the International Criminal Court to investigate civilian killings committed by NATO and the rebels.
His comments struck a chord with the African National Congress’ Youth League which went further to urge African governments not to recognise the rebels.
‘If the rebels ultimately take over Libya, everyone will know that these are rebels who were propelled to power and imposed on the people of Libya by imperialism through military violence, which led to loss of many civilian lives,’ the Youth League said in a statement on Thursday.
‘Africa is now facing a real threat of re-colonisation, which comes with the brutality and violence that defined earlier forms of the battering of Africa as if in Africa resides people who are unable to take their own decisions and determine their destiny.
‘The ANC Youth League humbly requests all African leaders to do the humble thing of not recognising imposed regimes in the African continent.
‘If the African Union recognises imposed regimes and government, then imperialist forces will be encouraged to fund and assist more rebel groups to illegally remove governments without the will of the people.
‘If the ICC is not a hypocritical institution established for the prosecution of people from Africa only, it should indeed take up the issue of civilian losses of lives caused by NATO bombings in Libya.
‘Imperialist invasions and re-colonisation of Africa will never be allowed and it is high time, the youth of Africa stand firm to oppose everything that treats Africans as sub-human.’
Meanwhile, on Friday, Syrian-based pro-Gadaffi Al-Urubah/Al-Rai TV has claimed that it has taken calls from two well-known Libyan former state TV presenters – Dr Yusuf Shakir and Hamzah al-Tuhami.
The TV reported: A person said to be Shakir and sounding like him called in to an Al-Urubah/Al-Rai TV talk show at around 2030 gmt on Friday.
‘He called again at 2252 gmt that night during the talk show “For All to See”.’
The following day the channel showed the following lines in its news ticker:
‘Dr Yusuf Shakir in a telephone call from Tripoli with Al-Rai channel: Tripoli is fine and we reassure our people among the free Arabs that the green Libyan flag is still fluttering everywhere.
‘Shakir: “These rats are criminal gangs whose fate will be extinction, they have plundered and violently attacked without mercy. Their leaders are characterised by lies and they are about money before the safety of the homeland.’
‘Shakir: “The Libyan people must stand shoulder to shoulder and not believe their claims and their mercenary mouthpieces, which cannot shake the Libyan people. The Turkish Justice (and Development) Party espouses Islam, but what is going on behind the scenes is more cunning and stronger.”
‘Shakir: “These agents kiss the American flag as their companions did steadfast Baghdad when it was invaded, for it is an image with two sides, the first in Iraq, the other in Libya.”
‘As for Al-Tuhami, no call was observed on the channel, but its ticker ran the following consecutive lines on 27 August: ‘The journalist Hamzah al-Tuhami in a telephone conversation with Al-Rai: “NATO rebels are legions of agents for the foreigner.”
‘Al-Tuhami: “NATO rebels robbed people and shops and everything in Tripoli and what they did is unbelievable, and they’ve started killing according to your identity card.” ’
The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) adopted a decision on the situation in Libya at its 29th meeting held on 26 August 2011, at the level of the heads of state and government, the AU said on Saturday.
The council took note of the report of the chairperson of the commission on the situation in Libya and the efforts of the AU to find political solution, the AU said in a press statement.
It said the council further took note of the statements made by the representatives of Tunisia, Tanzania and Libya and the deputy secretary general of the UN.
The developments in Libya over the past few days and the continued suffering of the Libyan people is a matter of deep concern, it said, and expressed its concerns regarding the proliferation of arms in Libya and requests the commission to continue to work closely with the concerned countries.
Accordingly, the statement said, the council calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities, establishment of lasting peace, formation of an inclusive transitional government and the establishment of a constitutional and legislative framework, among others.
It said the AU is committed to work with the UN, the League of Arab States, the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation, EU and NATO, among others.
The state-owned, mass-circulation Ugandan daily The New Vision on Saturday reported: ‘The government will support Libya to achieve democracy and an inclusive transitional period as spelt out in the African Union (AU) road map.
‘In a statement on Libya issued yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, emphasised that the future of Libya lies with her people.
‘It said Uganda would support the Libyan people to achieve reconciliation and national dialogue.
‘ “This will lead to a democratic dispensation that fulfils the aspirations and will of the Libyan people to freely determine their destiny,” the statement added.
‘Uganda was a member of the AU high-level ad hoc committee on Libya whose mandate was to push for a political solution to the conflict.
‘The AU high-level ad hoc committee consists of President Muhammad Ould Abd-al-Aziz of Mauritania (chairperson), Ugandan President Museveni, President Amadou Toumani Toure of Mali and Jacob Zuma of South Africa.
‘The committee was tasked with coming up with a road map on Libya, including engaging with all the parties in Libya and continuously assessing the evolution of the situation on the ground.
‘ “Uganda has maintained cordial relations with Libya and shall continue to do so,” the statement said.
‘The government said it would continue to work with the Libyan people in the context of the AU road map and the international community.
‘The community includes the AU, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the UN and the league of Arab states.
‘The government is also working with the Organisation of Islamic Conference and European Union to obtain a cessation of hostilities and achieve lasting peace in Libya.’