NATO war of aggression in Libya should end immediately - Mbeki & Co.

Thabo Mbeki et al
24 August 2011

Open letter by "concerned Africans" condemning intervention in the African nation, August 2011

Below is the text of an open letter by "concerned Africans" condemning NATO's UNSC approved intervention in Iraq. It was released earlier this month but publicised in South Africa at a press conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday August 24 2011. According to press reports the South African signatories include Thabo Mbeki, Chris Landsberg, Jesse Duarte, Willie Esterhuyse, Ronnie Kasrils, Christine Qunta, Aziz Pahad, Essop Pahad, Mukoni Ratshitanga and Wally Serote.

Libya, Africa and the new world order: An open letter: To the peoples of Africa and the world from concerned Africans

We, the undersigned, are ordinary citizens of Africa who are immensely pained and angered that fellow Africans are and have been subjected to the fury of war by foreign powers which have clearly repudiated the noble and very relevant vision enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

Our action to issue this letter is inspired by our desire, not to take sides, but to protect the sovereignty of Libya and the right of the Libyan people to choose their leaders and determine their own destiny.

Libya is an African country.

On March 10, the African Union Peace and Security Council adopted an important Resolution (3) which spelt out the roadmap to address the Libyan conflict, consistent with the obligations of the AU under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter.

When the UN Security Council adopted its Resolution 1973, it was aware of the AU decision which had been announced seven days earlier.

By deciding to ignore this fact, the Security Council further and consciously contributed to the subversion of international law as well as undermining the legitimacy of the UN in the eyes of the African people.

In other ways since then, it has helped to promote and entrench the immensely pernicious process of the international marginalisation of Africa even with regard to the resolution of the problems of the Continent.

Contrary to the provisions of the UN Charter, the UN Security Council declared its own war on Libya on March 17, 2011.

The Security Council allowed itself to be informed by what the International Crisis Group (ICG) in its June 6, 2011 Report on Libya characterises as the "more sensational reports that the regime was using its air force to slaughter demonstrators".

On this basis it adopted Resolution 1973 which mandated the imposition of a "no-fly zone" over Libya, and resolved "to take all necessary protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya..."

Thus, first of all, the Security Council used the still unresolved issue in international law of "the right to protect", the so-called R2P, to justify the Chapter VII military intervention in Libya.

In this context the UN Security Council has committed a litany of offences which have underlined , the further transformation of the Council into a willing instrument of the most powerful among its Member States.

Thus the Security Council produced no evidence to prove that its authorisation of the use of force under Chapter VII of the UN Charter was a proportionate and appropriate response to what had, in reality, in Libya, developed into a civil war.

It then proceeded to ‘outsource' or ‘sub-contract' the implementation of its resolutions to NATO, mandating this military alliance to act as a ‘coalition of the willing'.

It did not put in place any mechanism and process to supervise the ‘sub-contractor', to ensure that it faithfully honours the provisions of its Resolutions.

It has made no effort otherwise to monitor and analyse the actions of NATO in this regard.

It has allowed the establishment of a legally unauthorised ‘Contact Group', yet another ‘coalition of the willing', which has displaced it as the authority which has the effective responsibility to help determine the future of Libya.

To confirm this unacceptable reality, the July 15, 2011 meeting of the ‘Contact Group' in Istanbul "reaffirmed that the Contact Group remains the appropriate platform for the international community to be a focal point of contact with the Libyan people, to coordinate international policy and to be a forum for discussion of humanitarian and post-conflict support."

Duly permitted by the Security Council, the two ‘coalitions of the willing', NATO and the ‘Contact Group', have effectively and practically rewritten Resolution 1973.

Thus they have empowered themselves openly to pursue the objective of ‘regime change' and therefore the use of force and all other means to overthrow the government of Libya, which objectives are completely at variance with the decisions of the UN Security Council.

Because of this, with no regard to UNSC Resolutions 1970 and 1973, they have made bold to declare the government of Libya illegitimate and to proclaim the Benghazi-based ‘Transitional National Council' as "the legitimate governing authority in Libya."

The Security Council has failed to answer the question how the decisions taken by NATO and the ‘Contact Group' address the vital issue of "facilitating dialogue to lead to the political reforms necessary to find a peaceful and sustainable solution..."

The actions of its ‘sub-contractors', NATO and the ‘Contact Group', have positioned the UN as a partisan belligerent in the Libyan conflict, rather than a committed but neutral peacemaker standing equidistant from the Libyan armed factions.

The Security Council has further wilfully decided to repudiate the rule of international law by consciously ignoring the provisions of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter relating to the role of legitimate regional institutions.

The George W. Bush war against Iraq began on March 20, 2003.

The following day, March 21, the UK newspaper, The Guardian, published an abbreviated article by the prominent US neo-conservative, Richard Perle, entitled "Thank God for the death of the UN".

But the post-Second World War global architecture for the maintenance of international peace and security centred on respect for the UN Charter.

The UN Security Council must therefore know that at least with regard to Libya, it has acted in a manner which will result in and has led to the loss of its moral authority effectively to preside over the critical processes of achieving global peace and the realisation of the objective of peaceful coexistence among the diverse peoples of the world.

Contrary to the provisions of the UN Charter, the UN Security Council authorised and has permitted the destruction and anarchy which has descended on the Libyan people.

At the end of it all:

  • many Libyans will have died and have been maimed
  • much infrastructure will have been destroyed, further impoverishing the Libyan people
  • the bitterness and mutual animosity among the Libyan people will have been further entrenched
  • the possibility to arrive at a negotiated, inclusive and stable settlement will have become that much more difficult
  • instability will have been reinforced among the countries neighbouring Libya, especially the countries of the African Sahel, such as Sudan, Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauretania
  • Africa will inherit a much more difficult challenge successfully to address issue of peace and stability, and therefore the task of sustained development
  • those who have intervened to perpetuate violence and war in Libya will have the possibility to set the parameters within which the Libyans will have the possibility to determine their destiny, and thus further constrain the space for the Africans to exercise their right to self-determination.

As Africans we have predicated our future as relevant players in an equitable system of international relations on the expectation that the United Nations would indeed serve "as the foundation of a new world order."

The ICG Report to which we have referred says:

"The prospect for Libya, but also North Africa as a whole, is increasingly ominous, unless some way can be found to induce the two sides in the armed conflict to negotiate a compromise allowing for an orderly transition to a post-Qaddafi, post-Jamahiriya state that has legitimacy in the eyes of the Libyan people. A political breakthrough is by far the best way out of the costly situation created by the military impasse...

When Richard Perle wrote in 2003 about the "abject failure of the United Nations", he was bemoaning the refusal of the UN to submit to dictation by the world's sole superpower, the US.

The UN took this position because it was conscious of, and was inspired by its obligation to act as a true representative of all peoples of the world, consistent with the opening words of the UN Charter - "We the peoples on the United Nations..."

However, and tragically, eight years later, in 2011, the UN Security Council abandoned its commitment to this perspective.

Chastened by the humiliating experience of 2003, when the US demonstrated that might is right, it decided that it was more expedient to submit to the demands of the powerful rather than honour its obligation to respect the imperative to uphold the will of the peoples, including the African nations.

Thus it has communicated the message that it has become no more than an instrument in the hands and service of the most powerful within the system of international relations and therefore the vital process of the peaceful ordering of human affairs.

As Africans we have no choice but to stand up and reassert our right and duty to determine our destiny in Libya and everywhere else on our Continent.

We demand that all governments, everywhere in the world, including Africa, which expect genuine respect by the governed, such as us, should act immediately to assert "that law by which all nations may live in dignity."

We demand that:

  • the NATO war of aggression in Libya should end immediately
  • the AU should be supported to implement its Plan to help the Libyan people to achieve peace, democracy, shared prosperity and national reconciliation in a united Libya
  • the UN Security Council must act immediately to discharge its responsibilities as defined in the UN Charter.

Those who have brought a deadly rain of bombs to Libya today should not delude themselves to believe that the apparent silence of the millions of Africans means that Africa approves of the campaign of death, destruction and domination which that rain represents.

We are confident that tomorrow we will emerge victorious, regardless of the death-seeking power of the most powerful armies in the world.

The answer we must provide practically, and as Africans, is - when, and in what ways, will we act resolutely and meaningfully to defend the right of the Africans of Libya to decide their future, and therefore the right and duty of all Africans to determine their destiny!

The AU Road Map remains the only way to peace for the people of Libya.

Source: Pambazuka News, August 9 2011

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 responses to this article

We think we are right why does no one listen
When are these bumblers going to start dealing with the real world?
Within 24 hours we have been told by two senior Libyan officials that they feel that Zuma and SA let them down.The second of the two,the ex Gaddafi ambassador to Pretoria,in Pretoria . .more

by Pedro on August 24 2011, 23:11
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OOooo, nice to hear!
So Arabs in north Africa are Africans? Yebo! Now how about extending that courtesy to Caucasians born and bred in South Africa, living in South Africa?

It seems Mbeki, who was a signatory to the letter, is concerned about the unnecessary . .more

by Dave on August 24 2011, 23:14
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If Brother Leader Muammar Gaddafi is killed it will be a blot against all Africans. He was the leader which did the most for the Continent. South Africans owe much to Libya for its own liberation and its support fro the liberation movement in the worst . .more

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wrong people, right response
Gaddafi was a dictator, a megalomaniac and a ruthless nutter. However, he did use oil revenues to modernise Libya. Education was free from pre-primary to PhD level. He provided free health care and removed taxes on food. The Nato invasion of Libya was . .more

by Realist on August 25 2011, 00:01
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Year, whatever you say bro!

Can I also have some of what you've been smoking?

by Gaius on August 25 2011, 00:37
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Mbeki & co/ Zuma & co
Hey wena
Uncle gaddaffi is soon to be history. What r u mamparas scrounging for. U keep blaming imperialist for their greed yet u r not any better. Intact u r a couple folds worse.
The last timed I checked the people of Libya are elated with . .more

by Jzee on August 25 2011, 06:04
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Silly Little Men
How insignificant.
Totally blind.
Their personal banker has gone, it pains them no end.

Are they actually in touch with reality?

by redjhoo on August 25 2011, 06:34
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My immediate and perhaps cynical reaction to this is that I read it as the commencement of an SA/AU defence as to why Gaddafi will end up in SA or have been transported to one of the few countries who will harbur him. In contravention of UN rules.The . .more

by RobinAfrica on August 25 2011, 06:44
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Get Real
The anc just want to ensure Jesus does not come sooner and remove them from power - hence all the claptrap rubbish about AU plans, dreams etc. South Africa's diplomatic integrity is non-existent, review the past actions of this government re Tibet, . .more

by mhlungu on August 25 2011, 06:45
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Long Live the spirit of the killed African.
I know that NATO's war in Libya is for oil and looting of that Country. The blood of our brothers is indeed thicker than oil in our soil.

by The Warrior on August 25 2011, 06:47
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Wannabe Dictators
As a bastion of purile populist racism and ignorance we have the ANC wannabe dictatorship formulating and implementing their personal foreign policy in private. Praise and support for Mugabe and Gadaffi iand their ilk s praise for cruel dictatorship and . .more

by Dr Ubani on August 25 2011, 07:02
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As a South African I am ashamed to be associated with the pro-Gadafi lobby in South Africa. I know he funded and still would have funded the major part of the ANC election costs, but wake up! He is no more. Now is the time to think of the people of . .more

by DABB on August 25 2011, 07:42
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Duel tongue
My word this support for a madman dictator who has ruled for more than 40 years who is rejected by his own as in Zimbabwe with another selfish despot, yet Mbeki et al living in the past while the nations bleed. O wake up a Africa and feed your people and . .more

by Wizard on August 25 2011, 07:47
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Oh Sh!t... does this mean
that Rasputin Mbeki will now put on the air steward uniform he got as a present from Michael Jackson, rally a few tribesmen from the Heart of Darkness (somewhere near Umtata), issue them with blow pipes and muti and in-span all the rickshaws on the durban . .more

by Plutarch on August 25 2011, 08:01
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Mbeki's controversy continues...
No matter what the issue, when Mbeki takes a stand on something you can bet it will be illogical, fraught with hypocracy, African-centric and downright out of touch with reality. And they labelled him an intellect!!!

by Greykie on August 25 2011, 08:07
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It is tragic to see someone endowed with special gifts sink like Mbeki has, a man who cannot see the world other than in terms of everything 'out of Africa' is great and everything from the west is bad. He reminds me of King Saul who tried so desperately . .more

by Ron on August 25 2011, 08:08
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by IN HIND DIGHT on August 25 2011, 08:20
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This is the kind of statemanship that has been lacking since Mbeki left.
I listened to Chris on radio 2 days ago, and it is quite clear to anybody and everybody that the West is at it once again - blasting their way to the oil riches of Libya under false pretences. The question is - how long will Africa just sit still and keep . .more

by Son of the Soil on August 25 2011, 09:01
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You bloody hypocrites don't cease to amaze me but I guess if it was Hellen Zille who wrote this letter you would be singing a different tune.

In any case its African Arabs dying not whites, why should you care.

by Njabuliso on August 25 2011, 09:04
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If clowns like Thabo are unhappy.....
Then I am happy because I do not like dictators and Thabo does!!!

by Mbudzi on August 25 2011, 09:14
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Mbeki & Co
It is rich for the Mbeki gang to offer all kinds of legalities around the Lybian issue. Africa has solved very few of its own problems effectively or permanently without outside aid, management. Just look North: Zimbabwe, Somalia, Sudan... No, that . .more

by Willem on August 25 2011, 09:37
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I agree. Abolish the UN and all its agencies, including its "human trights" bodies, it's famine relief agencies, etc. The replace it with the vibrant, proactive NAM, paid for by the people who brought you PAP. And Mugabe and his ilk will be able to rest . .more

by witbooi on August 25 2011, 09:47
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the African "Onion" (it smells and makes you weep)
seems you "african " rocket scientists have time for your "brudda" leader, the looney tune Gadaffi , but in Somalia where hundreds of THOUSANDS will die this year, the ANC led government has only managed to give an enormous R8 million in aid and the . .more

by Uriah Heep on August 25 2011, 09:56
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Libya and AU
There is a dilemma here. The AU would have supported Gadaffi and the uprising would have been suppressed, since the AU supports all African leaders whether democratic or otherwise. The NATO involvement prevented the uprising from being crushed and the . .more

by james on August 25 2011, 10:01
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@Njabuliso. If it was Hellen Zille who wrote this letter you would be singing a different tune.
....Helen Zille would not write such a letter

by Essdee on August 25 2011, 10:11
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Mbeki and friends
Why are people so shocked at Mbeki & Co ? Nelson Mandela refered to Gaddafi as his " brother leader"

These signatories dont realy surpise me. Willie Esterhuizen was a friend of Madiba and Madiba in turn was friends with Gaddafi. I hear there is . .more

by Republican on August 25 2011, 10:26
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Mbeki & friends
............Liberals have enabled a new dictatorship called the ANC who will become more and more dictatorial in the future. You see the ANC are friends with the Castro's and the Gaddafi's of this world. Zuma is very angry at the efforts of NATO. Madiba . .more

by Republican on August 25 2011, 10:28
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To start, you are a racist. If GodZille penned this letter she would have been a member of the ANC. It is the only source of hypocrisy and lunacy still radiating from the new South Africa. And if she did write it, my disgust would be the same as I use . .more

by DABB on August 25 2011, 10:57
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Africa must rise up

Africa must wise

Africa must confront imperialism and defeat this monster.

From slavery to colonization to apartheid to . .more

by Panther on August 25 2011, 11:29
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"Ordinary citizens" - my foot?
These signitories - who claim to be 'ordinary citizens' - are worried about their own futures, nothing about Libia or even the millions of real 'ordinary citizens' of South Africa.... If Gadaffi was toppled, it would mean that it might happen in South . .more

by klaas on August 25 2011, 11:45
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what really happened
nato went in after gadaffi unleashed his military might on his own population the un protected the people of libia to make there own choice as to what was needed in libia these black leaders are just s..t scared the un will go after any black leader who . .more

by john on August 25 2011, 11:47
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Do the South African signatories then actually support the Gadaffi tyrant?
...and what he has done and is doing to his Libyian people.? Perhaps jst like they support the Mugabe despot and what he is doing to his people. Interestingly nowhere in this Mbeki et al rant do they mention Gadaffi.

by Ben on August 25 2011, 12:00
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AU has all the answers
The letter writers of the AU should show their success with past and current problems such as dealing with Mugabe and Somalia. I am surprised the demented Mbeki hasnt told the world that there is no crisis in Libya. South Africa is liable to be severely . .more

by Guymullins on August 25 2011, 12:02
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Suffer the oppressed.
Amazing is it not that Mbeki et al are purportedly so concerned about "the Libyan people" when they did not give a tinker's damn about "the Zimbabwean people".

But they (Mbeki especially!) fawned and worshipped at the feet of the dictator . .more

by Jason on August 25 2011, 13:00
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AU is weak.
What did the AU do "protect civilians" in Darfur? What did the AU do to solve the political impasse in Ivory Coast? What is the AU doing when Mugabe is slaughtering civilians in Zimbabwe? The AU is just weak and unresourced to solve African problems. All . .more

by Siphosoxolo on August 25 2011, 13:05
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....have established themselves as nation states - & hang together as a brotherhood.

Their collective bottom-line has nothing to do with "the people" under their collective boot, and everything to do with their collective knowledge of & . .more

by John Austin on August 25 2011, 13:53
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Eish...... now WHAT was the question again?

by Duh? on August 25 2011, 14:40
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.... and friends?
That implies he still has friends! Why? Why does he not just ride off into the sunset? If I messed up the the largest and most devastating tragedy that has befallen my country since 1990 because of my arrogance and know all attitude and supposed . .more

by tzME on August 25 2011, 16:07
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@John Austin
Brother, you are absolutely right.

Africa's "leaders", including those of Seffrica, have failed their people, but all were singularly successful with their self-enrichment programs.

They know very well that the west is highly critical . .more

by James Bell on August 25 2011, 17:18
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Biting the feeding hand
Dear Thabo,

Crawl back into you hole and focus on making the OAU work. NATO and the West are tired of African dictators and comical goverments while critising the West that feeds/provides aid to Africa's masses.

by Wingnut on August 25 2011, 19:35
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Its interesting just to read the racist English comments popping up again.
Really reflects more on their comments than of the authors of the letter.

by Jannie on August 25 2011, 21:37
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That dictator must go irrespective.Libya is not for Gadhafi Family&Friends
The people of Libya dont need political lectures and want to be Free like everybody.The wrong can be corrected with the' wrong broom ' .Evidently the people of Libya have shown they dont need Gadhafi.The people have spoken with the support of NATO or . .more

by Joe on August 25 2011, 21:41
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It's an uncomfortable mystery.
How did a UN resolution calling for imposition of a no fly zone to prevent air strikes by Libyan air forces on civilians morph into carte blanche for NATO to bomb Libyan ground forces, military installations, and ministerial and Government compounds at . .more

by Pursey on August 25 2011, 23:04
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Quite amazing
This great concern about Gadaffi by Mbeki if amazing. People are dying by the thousands in Africa from hunger, neglect, tribal wars, and corrupt governance and very little is done. Where does this special concern for Gadaffi now fit in? Africa will never . .more

by Wizard on August 25 2011, 23:24
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Why does Mbeki & Co. have one set of requirements for SA and others for the rest of Africa?
In South Africa the demand was always one man, one vote. Doesn't seem to be the same call for Zimbabwe (just rig the election and stay in office), or Libya. Perhaps it has to do with the money-trail?

by Greykie on August 26 2011, 11:06
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Agression against Libya
MBeki and the AU are deeply "concerned" about western aggression against Libya and its leader, "brother" Moammer Ghadafi, whose benevolent rule of 41 years after seizing power in a bloodless coup was an exemplary model of "democracy".

Should we . .more

by James Bell on August 27 2011, 15:58
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Agression against Libya 2
Mbeki and his acolytes, JZ783 and his merry men, the Great leader Mug-abe, the Mal-emmas and their ilk, know that there grip on power is tenuous and their objective are all the same: steal as much as you can while you can. If you have to flee at least you . .more

by James Bell on August 27 2011, 16:05
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Libyian conflict resolved
Gadhafi is made king of libya and a political system is created in Libya such that the Libyan people vote for thier Prime Minister who should head the government

by A Cameroonian on August 27 2011, 17:14
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The EU are probably after the oil, but they still helped put a stop to Gaddafi's ruthless campaign. Can you believe Mbeki in the news criticized the former despots of Egypt and Tunisia without even mentioning mad men Gaddafi, as if Gaddafi was not a . .more

by Muhammed on August 28 2011, 10:47
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If defence for Africa makes me a racist ,so be it but I will not apologise..
It is a well known fact that most of you hated TM's guts of standing up to Europe when he was a State President hence you choose ignore the gist of what he's saying and attack him.
I agree with what TM is saying, Lybians first and Africans must . .more

by Njabuliso on August 29 2011, 10:06
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Nato War Of Aggression
The war in Lybia is an indication that Europian countries and America are Masters of Black people.They are the ones who decide on how we should run Africa.What did Mr.Koffi Annan and the whole UN Organasation did when America attacked Irag and Saddam . .more

by Razwinani Thovhakale on September 01 2011, 14:52
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No country is immune.
The destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq and now LIbya is consistent with US regime change. It is also a way of rescuing their and European economies from the cyclical economic crises. Creating and Exporting wars to rescue their abominable hatred for peace, . .more

by Tamo on September 02 2011, 13:06
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In support of Thabo Mbeki et al
The basis of this article is a careful examination of the manipulation of a UN resolution purporting to protect civilians and turn this into a regime change agenda. Unfortunately going by some of the responses to this article it is clear that some people . .more

by okoroman on September 11 2011, 22:11
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mbeki and Co
What about the millions dying of hunger in Africa? What about the plundering of Zim by despot, dictator Mugabe? The list of failed African regimes goes on ad infiitum. But Mbeki and co still insist that the future of African states must be decided by . .more

by Franky on September 19 2011, 13:54
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Mbeki & co
terrorists when they attacked the legitimately elected government of first the Union of South Africa and subsequently the Republic of South Africa.
he same goes for the terrorists who attacked and overthrew the legitimately elected government of the . .more

by Fiks on September 19 2011, 21:18
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