War crimes court should probe NATO role in Libya: S Africa

"We note they (NATO) are attempting to create the impression that the rebels are acting on their own in their attacks in Tripoli but there are clear links and co-ordination at that level," Kgalema Motlanthe told parliament yesterday in response to lawmakers' questions.

"UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which was aimed at protecting civilians, initially from bombings by the government of Muammar Gaddafi, was in a sense overstretched by the NATO forces," he added, according to local press reports.

"The question is whether the ICC "will have the wherewithal to unearth that information and bring those who are responsible to book, including the NATO commanders on the ground," added Motlanthe.

South Africa, a temporary member of the UN Security Council, voted in favour of the air exclusion zone over Libya which has enabled air strikes under NATO command.

However President Jacob Zuma has since led South African protests that NATO has used the UN resolution to pursue it own interests, going beyond protecting the safety of the civilian population.

Zuma on Tuesday said the NATO-led use of force had undermined Africa's peace efforts.
"I think that the point we have been making is that those who have a lot of capacity, even the capacity to bombard the countries, really undermined the AU's (African Union's) initiatives and effort to deal with the matter in Libya," he told reporters.

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