AU Calls for Cessation of Hostilities, Beginning of Reform Process in Libya

Nouakchott, Mauritania (PANA) — The African Union (AU) Panel on Libya has demanded an immediate stop to all attacks in Libya, after a coalition of Western nations opened military action against the north African nation.

The demand was issued by the panel, set up by the AU, after its inaugural meeting in Nouakchott, Mauritania, Saturday night.

In a statement released on Sunday, the AU panel also called on the Libyan authorities “to diligently facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations in need” and “ensure the protection of foreign nationals, including African migrant workers, living in Libya.”

The panel, which recognises the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people for democracy, political reform, justice, peace and security, as well as socio-economic development and the need to ensure that these aspirations are met peacefully and democratically, urged all concerned to adopt and implement political reforms needed to resolve the crisis in the north African nation.

Presidents Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania, Amadou Toumani Toure of Mali and Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo attended the meeting, while South Africa and Uganda were represented.

Meanwhile, the plan by members of the panel to travel to Libya Sunday as part of their assignment has been postponed, pending the cessation of hostilities as they have requested.

The coalition rained more than 100 missiles on Libya Saturday shortly after French warplanes hit the Libya skies, in response to the UN resolution.

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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