Mbeki: We should learn from Libya's experiences

Recent events in Libya should raise alarm bells about the threat to Africa’s hard won right to self-determination, former president Thabo Mbeki said on Saturday.

Addressing the Law Society of the Northern Provinces in Sun City, Mbeki said it “seemed obvious” that a few powerful countries were seeking to use the council to pursue their selfish interests.

They were also determined to behave according to the principle and practice that “might is right” and to sideline the principle of self-determination.

“I must state this categorically that those who have sought to manufacture a particular outcome out of the conflict in Libya have propagated a poisonous canard aimed at discrediting African and African Union (AU) opposition to the Libyan debacle.”

He said this was done on the basis that the AU and the rest of “us” had been “bought by Colonel Gadaffi with petro-dollars”, and felt obliged to defend his continued misrule.

He said all known means of disinformation was being bandied about, included an argument that Gadaffi’s Libya had supported the ANC during the apartheid struggle.

“The incontrovertible fact is that during this whole period, Libya did not give the ANC [African National Congress] even one cent, did not train even one of our military combatants and did not supply us with even one bullet.

“This is because Gadaffi’s Libya made the determination that the ANC was little more than an instrument of Zionist Israel because we had among our leaders such outstanding patriots as the late Joe Slovo.”

Fabrication
Mbeki said Libya’s assistance to the ANC came after 1990 when it realised that the ANC was a genuine representative of the overwhelming majority of our people.

Assertions that the AU depended on Libyan money to ensure its survival were false and yet another fabrication.

“The [UN Security Council] Resolution [on a no-fly-zone] said nothing about regime change. However the fact of the matter is that the Nato actions had everything to do with the overthrow of the Gadaffi regime.”

The AU had in fact adopted a roadmap for the negotiated resolution of the conflict in Libya.

“To all intents and purposes the Security Council ignored the AU decision and later blocked the AU Panel on Libya from flying into the country to begin the process of mediating a peaceful resolution.

“Libya is an African country. In addition to this, in terms of international peace and security, the conflict in that country has impacted and will continue to impact directly and negatively on a number of African countries.”

Despite this, the Security Council chose to ignore the AU, he said.—Sapa

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