Zuma hits out at Nato over Libya

Johannesburg -Nato allies could be seeking a regime change in Libya in a manner that is "unacceptable", President Jacob Zuma told the Parliament of Burundi on Thursday.

"We have found ourselves in a situation where the developed world has decided to intervene in Africa in a manner that was not agreed to when the UN resolution 1973...was passed," he said in a speech prepared for delivery.

"We have found this resolution being abused in a manner that is totally unacceptable."

Zuma reiterated the African Union's (AU) call for an "African solution", and a need for a cessation of hostilities to allow Libyan dialogue.

"Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has agreed not to be part of the Libyan dialogue. What we need now is for the allies to allow the space for such a dialogue to take place.

"We urge African parliamentarians to work with us in promoting such African solutions....so that its voice can be heard on matters of conflict resolution on the continent, from Somalia to Libya."


Zuma said South Africa committed itself to working with other "like-minded" states towards improving the working methods of the United Nations Security Council for a more legitimate, accountable, transparent, representative and effective body.

"The council needs to be responsive to the needs of the developing world when it comes to the quest for peace and security,"he said.

"More importantly, it must be in tune with the African continent and give Africa the space to solve its problems."

Close to his heart

The Parliament heard that Burundi was close to Zuma's heart and South Africa was ready to help with its post-conflict reconstruction.

"We are not here to discuss the peace process. We are here to discuss post-conflict reconstruction and development and to work with the Burundian people towards a future of peace and prosperity."

South Africa was prepared to aid in opening up Burundi's "political space", capacity-building and ensure economic development.

Identified areas of co-operation between the countries were in infrastructure development, agriculture and agro-processing, higher education, defence, mining, tourism and private sector development.

Support for higher education would include technical co-operation on building capacity, teacher education and higher education planning.

Intrinsically linked

Zuma said he would like to see increased volumes of trade and investment between the two countries.

The partnership was important because South Africa's national interest was "intrinsically linked" to Africa's stability, unity and prosperity.

"Our foreign policy is informed by collaboration, co-operation and building partnerships. It is in this spirit that we are engaging with Burundi in this post-conflict phase," said Zuma.

"It is also in this spirit that we promote multilateralism and collective responsibility in dealing with challenges facing the African continent and the contemporary world. "

Zuma departed for Burundi for a state visit on Wednesday.

The delegation accompanying him include the ministers of International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Higher Education Blade Nzimande, Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu and Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Thandi Tobias-Pokolo.

[Source: News24, Johannesburgo, 11Aug11]

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