Arab League, African Union criticize Western strikes on Libya
CAIRO - From wire dispatches | 3/21/2011 12:00:00 AM |
The Arab League chief on Sunday criticized Western military strikes on Libya, as the African Union called for an immediate halt to attacks in the North African country.
The Arab League chief on Sunday criticized Western military strikes on Libya, as the African Union meanwhile called for an immediate halt to attacks in the North African country.
Britain and France had indicated that Arab involvement was imminent, and the league itself had urged a no-fly zone.
“What has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone and what we want is the protection of civilians and not bombing other civilians,” Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa told reporters.
“From the start we requested only that a no-fly zone be set up to protect Libyan civilians and avert any other developments or additional measures,” he added.
On March 12, the 22-member Arab League urged the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone on Libya and said Moammar Gadhafi’s regime had “lost legitimacy” as it sought to snuff out a rebellion designed to oust him from power.
Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Monday condemned foreign military strikes in Libya, saying they amounted to “interference in the internal affairs of Africa.”
“Namibia deplores and regrets the interventions [against Libya] by some EU countries, the U.S. and Canada and the so-called Arab countries under the guise of the Arab League,” said Pohamba, who is also the current chairman of the Southern African Development Community.
“Namibia reiterates the decisions of the African Union Peace Council and rejects in the strongest terms any interference in the internal affairs of Africa,” he said.
The 53-nation African Union has said it is opposed to “any kind of foreign military intervention” in Libya and called Sunday for an immediate halt to attacks in the North African country.
After a meeting of more than four hours in the Mauritanian capital, the body also asked Libyan authorities to ensure “humanitarian aid to those in need,” as well as the “protection of foreigners, including African expatriates living in Libya.”
Compiled from Agence France-Presse and Associated Press reports by the Daily News staff.