South Africa Deputy President Urges Court Probe of NATO Intervention in Libya

World | August 25, 2011, Thursday // 10:46
Bulgaria: South Africa Deputy President Urges Court Probe of NATO Intervention in Libya South African acting President Kgalema Motlanthe (C). Photo by EPA/BGNES

South Africa's Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has claimed that the International Criminal Court (ICC) should investigate NATO over the deaths of civilians in Libya caused by its support for the rebels' raid on the capital, Tripoli.

According to Motlanthe, as cited by, this assistance exceeded NATO's UN mandate to protect civilians.

The Deputy President urged ICC to move to investigate whether the rebels had stormed the Libyan capital in cooperation with the military alliance.

"We note they [Nato] are attempting to create the impression that the rebels are acting on their own in their attacks into Tripoli but there are clear links and co-ordination at that level.

"The question is whether the [court] will have the wherewithal to unearth that information and bring those who are responsible to book, including the Nato commanders on the ground," he said.

Motlanthe insisted that NATO had surpassed the powers granted under UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which was originally aimed at protecting civilians from bombings by the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

According to South Africa's Deputy President, the main concern in Libya's case was that no one knew who the rebels – a "potpourri of ethnic groupings" – were.

Motlanthe confirmed that the government's stance was in line with the African Union's , adding that AU's road map was the only honourable route to peace, stability and the democratisation of all institutions in Libya.

In the meantime, 200 prominent South Africans, including a senior government minister, have signed an open letter condemning NATO's intervention in Libya.

"Nato has violated international law... they had a regime change agenda," said one of the signatories, University of Johannesburg head of politics, Chris Landsberg, adding that "The re-colonisation of Africa is becoming a real threat."

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Tags: South Africa, International Criminal Court, ICC, NATO, Libya, rebel forces, Tripoli, Muammar Gaddafi, UN Security Council
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