Attack on Libya Slights African Diplomatic Option

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) — Ongoing attacks on Libya by Western forces occurred in defiance of the ongoing efforts by the African Union (AU) to explore the diplomatic option to resolve the crisis in the North African nation.

The Western coalition, including the US, UK and France, unleashed a barrage of missiles on Libya starting Saturday, saying it was enforcing UN Resolution 1973 recommending ”measures to protect civilians in Libya”, even as about 100 Libyans have been killed and 200 wounded by the attacks.

The attack occurred as the AU high-level panel on Libya was meeting in Nouakchott, Mauritania, to facilitate an inclusive dialogue among the different parties on the reforms needed.

It is noteworthy that France has been the champion of the project to wage war against Libya, and therefore it was not a surprise that it initiated the air strikes that preceded the missile attack, all of which happened even with the reluctance of the European Union and the G8, but on the strength of the UN resolution.

Also important is the fact that the warmongers do not have the support of several countries in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, with Germany, Turkey, China, Russia, as well as Brazil and Venezuela, expressing their ‘regret’ or disagreement with the war project.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has described the attacks as “irresponsible”, saying “military action carried out by allies against Libya is interference in the internal affairs of a country”.

Fittingly though, the AU panel has demanded an immediate cessation of the attacks, to give the panel the opportunity to fully explore the diplomatic option.

The African panel comprises Presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania, Amadou Toumani Toure of Mali and Sassou Nguesso of Congo.

It is due to meet again in Addis Ababa 25 March to continue efforts to resolve the crisis.

This article was first published by the Pan-African News Agency (Panapress) on 20 March 2011; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes.

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