Zuma sends envoys to Libya, Zim

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma is to send envoys to represent him in Libya and Zimbabwe on missions to find solutions to political conflicts and stalemates in these two countries.

Zuma is sending an envoy to Libya at the weekend to take part in an African Union fact-finding mission aimed at starting talks between the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and rebels who are trying to end his 42-year rule.

He will be represented by the Minister of State Security, Siyabonga Cwele, Deputy Minister of International Relations Ebrahim Ebrahim and security adviser Welile Nhlapo.

They will join other members of the High Level Panel appointed by the AU, such as Uganda, Mauritania, South Africa, Mali and the Republic of Congo, tasked with finding a lasting situation in the political crisis in Libya. 

Zuma said in the National Assembly on Thursday said South Africa would coordinate its position on Libya with other members of the AU. 

"South Africa supports the position of the African Union with regards to the Libyan question and will work within the ambit of the AU," Zuma's office said on Friday. 

Zuma last week instructed Treasury to begin freezing Gaddafi's assets in South Africa in accordance with an earlier UN Security Council resolution. 

In February, the UN enforced sanctions resolution on Libyan forces a travel ban and assets froze Gaddafi, his inner circle and members of the Libyan leader's family.

Yesterday, the UNSC tightened the rope by imposing a no-fly zone over the country to stop Gaddafi's attacks on rebels. 

Meanwhile, Zuma, who is mediator in Zimbabwe's power-sharing dispute, will next week send an envoy, led by political adviser Charles Nqakula, on a mission to that country amid rising tensions in the unity government.

"President Zuma will next week send his Zimbabwe facilitation team to Harare to meet with parties to the Global Political Agreement, ahead of the meeting of the SADC Troika which will take place in Zambia on the 31st of March," the Presidency said. 

South Africa, it said, will continue to participate actively in efforts of bringing about peace and stability on the continent.

Recent weeks have seen a surge in violence and arrests targeting loyalist of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. President Robert Mugabe has also threatened to hold an election soon, discarding undertakings to follow a road map of democratic reforms.

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