MPs criticise Nato strikes on Libya

“TODAY it is Libya, tomorrow it is you,” warned the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Loide Kasingo, criticising Nato’s attack on the beleaguered Gaddafi regime in Libya.

She said “one’s enemy” that “never sleeps” and “planning day and night how to keep Africa in perpetual tutelage” has come up with the International Criminal Court (ICC) “just to target some African leaders and other leaders” who do not “dance to their tunes”.

She said the Roman Statute which established the ICC should be reviewed, and suggested that Namibia consider withdrawing from the ICC.

Kasingo was supported in her views by the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Albert Kawana, who accused the ICC of double standards.

The Minister of Finance, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, rhetorically asked if foreign powers do not use double standards when they freeze the personal assets of African leaders while “stealing” African resources.

Different governments on the continent have reacted variously to the Libyan crisis.

The Botswana government had in February summoned the Libyan representative in Gaborone to express its “revulsion at the Libyan government’s response to peaceful protestors and called for restraint in dealing with the situation”.

It said it felt compelled “to take the rare step” of terminating diplomatic relations with Libya, a measure it said was not aimed at the “friendly people of Libya”, but prompted by the actions of their government.

The ties with the Libyan people, it said, would continue to endure.

“Botswana agrees with the international community which is calling for action to be taken against those persons who have committed crimes against humanity in the continuing conflict in Libya and hopes that such persons shall be referred to the International Criminal Court to account for their deeds,” the Botswana government said in a statement.

The Third Secretary of the Egyptian Embassy in Namibia, Omar Elrifia, said the country would support the ongoing activities of the enforcing forces of the United Nations Security Resolutions 1970 and 1973, as long as civilians are protected and the action promotes democracy and freedom in that country.

The Nigerian Ambassador to Namibia, Adegboyega C. Ariyo, said his country similarly supported the UNSC resolutions, arguing that the resolutions do not call for the killing and destruction of the Libyan people on either side of the conflict.

He said the Nigerian government supports a no-fly zone in Libya only in as far as it attempts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict and where it allows for humanitarian aid to reach those that need it.

[Source: By Catherine Sasman, Namibian, 04Apr11]

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