U.S./NATO & Libyan puppets reject African plan for Libya cease-fire
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Published Jul 6, 2011 7:40 PM
This year’s 17th African Union Summit attempted once again to broker a
cease-fire in the nearly five-month-old imperialist war against Libya. The
meeting of the 53-member organization was held in Malabo, capital of the former
Spanish colony of Equatorial Guinea, from June 30 to July 2.
The A.U.’s discussion of economic cooperation and the social conditions
of youth was overshadowed by the work of its Ad-Hoc Committee on Libya. In its
latest plan, the A.U. called for an immediate halt to the bombing attacks,
which began March 19, and the beginning of serious negotiations aimed at
establishing a political solution to the crisis inside Libya.
The Russian government also called for a NATO cease-fire in a meeting with the
imperialist military alliance on July 3. South African President Jacob Zuma
flew to Moscow in the aftermath of the A.U. Summit to promote the cease-fire
efforts. Zuma noted that the framework advanced by the A.U. was the best
mechanism for securing peace in Libya.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe told journalists after returning to Harare
from the A.U. Summit that he was quite pleased with the meeting. “Yes,
yes, we are happy. Southern African Development Community countries and
countries in other parts of Africa were happy with the outcome on Libya.”
Mugabe added, “NATO should stop its terrorist attack on Libya. NATO
cannot continue attacking Libya because they are not the rulers of the world.
The United Nations should stand against NATO.” (Zimbabwe Sunday Mail,
TNC, Washington reject A.U. proposals
The A.U. plan would have brought about the cessation of hostilities, a
comprehensive cease-fire, the reconciliation of the conflicting parties inside
Libya, and internationally supervised national elections.
The political measures put forward by the A.U. Summit would result in the
lifting of the siege imposed on cities and the movement of all troops, militias
and armed elements from all parties to barracks; the ending of all attacks and
abuses against civilians, including those who were forced to leave the country;
the release of political prisoners; and unrestricted and unhindered access to
civilians in dire need of humanitarian relief.
The Western-backed counterrevolutionaries called the Transitional National
Council summarily rejected the cease-fire plan, as did Washington. “Rebel
spokesman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga said that they outright dismissed the AU plan
because it did not meet their basic demands, which calls for the ouster of
Muammar Gadhafi, his sons and aides from his inner circle. Ghoga said the AU
offer would have Gadhafi in power, something that was not acceptable to
them.” (allheadlinenews.com, July 4)
Since March 11, the African Union has issued several communiqués calling
for a cease-fire in Libya and the withdrawal of foreign involvement in the
civil war. The imperialist states now bombing Libya and/or providing aid to the
TNC have rejected all these calls.
A.U. rejects ICC warrants
The A.U. also refused to accept the legitimacy of the International Criminal
Court warrants issued against Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, his son Saif
al-Islam and intelligence head Abdullah al-Senussi. From the Malabo Summit the
continental organization said, “AU member-states shall not cooperate in
the execution of the arrest warrants.”
The A.U. added that issuing the ICC warrants “seriously complicates the
efforts aimed at finding a negotiated political settlement to the crisis in
Libya, which will also address, in a mutually reinforcing way, issues related
to impunity and reconciliation.”
The A.U. had similarly rejected the ICC’s targeting of African leaders in
2009 when attempts were made to arrest Sudanese President Omar Hassan
While the A.U. was working for a peaceful settlement, U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton continued blatant, provocative rhetoric against the
Libyan government. From Madrid on July 2, Clinton repeated the Obama
administration’s demand that the Libyan leadership be overthrown.
Clinton said that Gadhafi “should step down from power. The rebels are
gaining strength and momentum. We need to see this through.” (Associated
Press, July 2)
Clinton added, “We will continue exerting the same military and political
pressure.” She also praised the austerity measures imposed by the Spanish
government on the working class, which is suffering from a 21 percent
unemployment rate due to the world capitalist economic crisis.
The A.U. and Russia also condemned France’s openly supplying arms to the
TNC. Speaking from Malabo, A.U. Commission Chair Jean Ping said that the French
weapons “will be used to destabilize African states and to kidnap
tourists for whom you pay ransom.” (sbpost.ie, July 3)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the French arms delivery
represented a “crude violation” of a United Nations arms embargo
that was called for in Security Council Resolution 1970. However, the U.S.
State Department defended the French arms shipments to the rebels.
World opposition grows to war on Libya
Inside Libya itself, the defense forces have continued to hit rebel positions
in the Nafusah Mountains and other areas of the country. A huge demonstration
in Tripoli on July 1 brought out a million people in support of the government
and in opposition to the imperialist war.
At the same time demonstrations and public meetings are continuing in the
United States to oppose the war. In Harlem, a coalition of various
Pan-Africanists, leftists and anti-war forces have called for a Millions March
in defense of Libya and other African states under attack by Western
The Final Call newspaper, a publication of the Nation of Islam, stated the
following: “Disturbed by what they see as a White House that has ignored
their concerns, anti-war activists called a press conference in Harlem to
announce the ‘Millions March in Harlem’ protest and their demand
for an end to the bombing of the North African nation of Libya and ending the
illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe in Southern Africa.” (June 29)
The Freedom Party, the All-African Peoples Revolutionary Party, the New Black
Panther Party, the Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People,
the International Association Against Torture, the International Action Center
and the Answer Coalition endorsed the march, among others.
The demonstration, set for Aug. 13, calls for an immediate halt to U.S.
involvement in the war against Libya. The Obama administration claims the
Pentagon’s engagement there is “limited,” but a press release
issued by Defense Web on July 4 states: “U.S. Air Force and Navy aircraft
are still flying hundreds of strike missions over Libya,” even though
NATO allegedly took over such missions from the U.S. on March 31.
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