AU representative says crisis in Libya requires both short, long-term solutions

16:43, June 16, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

A senior African Union (AU) representative said here Wednesday that developments in Libya have reached a "critical moment," which demands "a rapid solution" conducive to sparing suffering of Libyan civilians, returning of sustainable peace in the North African country.

Hamady Ould Hamady, minister of foreign affairs of Mauritania and chair of the African Union (AU) High-level Ad-Hoc Ministerial Committee on Libya, made the statement when he was addressing the UN Security Council at an open meeting on the situation in Libya, a country currently experiencing a violent conflict between the government of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi, and rebel forces.

Security Council Resolution 1973, passed in March, authorized the creation of a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians that has been enforced by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

"This session with your august Council is being held at a critical moment of developments in the situation of Libya," he said. "The conflict that tears apart this country since February 2011 is now moving into its fourth month, while the military operation led by the coalition, then by NATO, in the context of the resolution 1973 (2011), has been operational for about three months, and has now been renewed for a further similar period."

"We need to tackle the priorities dictated by the situation on the ground while at the same time inscribe our action in a vision that is focused on the long term, focused on the need to seek lasting solutions that will be approved and adhered to by all Libyan parties, without marginalization or exclusion," he said.

Hamady said that one of the most immediate problems in Libya is a humanitarian situation in that is "of extreme concern," and issued a plea for a pause in the fighting to help bring humanitarian aid to those who need it.

"As we assemble here today to discuss the situation in Libya, we are held to the duty of keeping in mind the indescribable suffering inflicted upon the Libyan civilian populations, for whose protection the Resolution 1973 was adopted, as well as the fate of the African immigrant workers and others desperately seeking to escape from Libya with hundreds, if not thousands already registered as dead in the sea," he said.

The Libyan conflict has caused many migrants living in the embattled country as well as Libyans themselves to seek escape. Some have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to cross into Europe for safety, while others have been detained at Libya's borders.

This sudden movement of peoples could have a destabilizing impact on other countries in North Africa and the Sahel-Sahara area that are already dealing with internal difficulties, Hamady said.

In addition to humanitarian issues, Hamady also stressed the need to come up with a viable long-term solution to the Libyan conflict.

"We are convinced that once said and done, only a political solution would respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people and promote lasting peace in this country," he said. "This is the conviction that has inspired our approach since March 10, 2011 when the Peace and Security Council, meeting at the heads of state level, outlined the road map for the resolution of the Libyan conflict."

The AU Road Map supports an immediate end to hostilities as well as implementation of political reforms that address the root causes of the conflict.

"Clearly, nothing in this road map could be legitimately interpreted as coming from an inclination to support any one given party," Hamady said. "It is quite the contrary; In fact, the roadmap is intended to give the Libyans an opportunity to freely elect their leaders and to acquire a political system that would fulfill their aspirations."

The AU has participated in several international meetings on Libya. On June 18, the AU will be present in Cairo as five international organizations attempt to draw up a joint plan of action to proceed towards peace in Libya.

"The African Union, whose action is only driven by the objectives of the aspirations of the Libyan people, as well as the legitimate concerns of the countries in the region on matters relating to security and their stability in the long run, will never hide from its responsibilities," said Hamady. "The African Union will be a loyal and efficient partner to the United Nations in general, and to your council in particular. It will serve as a faithful and attentive friend to Libya under all circumstances."

Hamady also said that there was concern expressed at an extraordinary session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government about a lack on inclusion of the African continent in the international management of the conflict in Libya.

He said that Africa is the continent that will suffer most from the conflict in Libya, so it must have an important role in its management.

"We cannot simply be spectators to the calamities that befall us," he said.

  Weekly review  


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Xi Jinping visits Italy, Cuba, Uruguay, Chile
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • UN chief praises Uruguay's commitment to peace missions
  • Iran ready for greater nuclear transparency: Ahmadinejad
  • Female train attendants prepare for operation of Beijing-Shanghai high-speed train
  • Syrians raise huge flag to call for national unity
  • Life in Cote d'Ivoire refugee camp
  • Life of fleed Syrians in Turkish refugee camp
Hot Forum Discussion