Saturday, September 17, 2011

AU to recognize Libya’s NTC under ‘exceptional circumstances’ panapress reports

Pretoria, South Africa (PANA) - The African Union (AU) has said it will recognize Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) under exceptional circumstances, in effect cushioning the new authority from falling into sanctions.

An AU-appointed High-Level Panel on Libya, which met in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, formally approved the recognition of the soon-to-be formed interim government in Libya to assume its seat at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The ad hoc panel of five African leaders directed the AU Commission Chief, Jean Ping, to submit a report to the Peace and Security Council (PSC), outlining the latest developments in Libya before the PSC could authorize Libya’s formal recognition.

“Such a decision should be based on the exceptional circumstances in, and the uniqueness of the situation in Libya and without prejudice to the relevant instruments of the AU, particularly those on unconstitutional changes of governments.”

South African President Jacob Zuma hosted the members of the Panel in Pretoria, including Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Congo Republic’s Denis Sassou Nguesso and ambassadorial representatives of Mali and Mauritania.

The African leaders expressed their worries over the possibility of the current situation in Libya threatening to undermine regional peace and security, through the proliferation of weapons and terrorism.

The NTC leaders have written to the AU Commission offering their full cooperation and “strategic commitment” to the African continent and it also pledged to the commission chief their efforts to promote national unity.

The Libyan leadership has also pledged their commitment to the protection of the foreign workers, including African migrant workers.

Meanwhile, the AU is to convene an emergency meeting on the sidelines of the 66th ordinary session of the General Assembly in New York to review the developments in Libya and take appropriate positions to reinforce the peace efforts.

The New York meeting of the PSC will discuss a common African position on the formal recognition of the new Libyan government.

In the past, the AU was reluctant to recognize NTC, at first doubting its commitment to the protection of the African migrant workers in Tripoli, reportedly targeted for being part of fallen leader Mouammar Kadhafi’s war machinery.

The PSC insists it will only recognize a representative of Libya nominated for the post of ambassador to the AU after an all-inclusive government is formed in Tripoli.

“The ad hoc committee recommended to the PSC to encourage NTC to spare no efforts in ensuring its effective follow up to living up to its pledge to formally institute an all-inclusive transitional government,” the panel's communique said.