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President Jacob Zuma wants a democratic Libya

media Presidents Zuma and Kadhafi. Reuters

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma says that many Libyan lives could have been saved if the African Union’s peace initiative in Libya had been given space. He maintains that the Nato-led use of force undermined the African Union's peace efforts in Libya.

President Zuma spoke in Cape Town after meeting with Ghanaian President John Atta Mills during a two-day visit.

Zuma is a member of the African Union’s high level team trying to end conflict in Libya.

The South African president says that the AU should not feel as if it has failed in its Libyan peace efforts. Those who have the capacity to bombard a country have undermined the AU’s efforts, he says, in another criticism of the Nato military action in Libya.

The AU’s Peace and Security Council will meet in Dar es Salaam on Thursday and Friday to discuss the latest developments in Libya. Zuma defends the AU roadmap that was rejected by Libyan rebels because it did not demand Moamer Kadhafi’s departure.

He maintains that the AU remains on a logical route carrying the interest of the Libyan
people, and that it’s not too little, too late.

Zuma argues that Nato exceeded the United Nations Security Council mandate – supported by South Africa – to enforce a no fly zone over Libya.

The South African leader insists that the AU wants a democratic country based on a constitution crafted by Libyans.

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