Gaddafi family killings likely to fuel conflict: SA govt

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pretoria - South Africa says the killing of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son and three of his grandchildren will only intensify conflict.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation reiterated that the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 does not address itself to the assassination of individuals and officials.

Instead, the resolution authorises UN member states to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in Libya.

"The attacks on leaders and officials can only result in the escalation of tensions and conflicts on all sides and make future reconciliation difficult," the department's spokesperson Clayson Monyela said in a statement.

The department called for restraint and appealed to Libyan parties to "preserve life and property," adding that the Libyans must be afforded the opportunity to choose their own leaders in negotiations conducted peacefully and democratically.

Media reports indicate that Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, 29, Gaddafi's youngest son, was killed in a NATO air strike in the capital Tripoli on Saturday.

NATO denies that it targeted the Libyan leader, saying the mission was aimed at a command and control center.

Saif al-Arab was buried on Monday, with thousands of mourners attending the funeral. Among them were two of his brothers, but Muammar Gaddafi, who was reportedly in the house and unharmed during the raid, didn't appear at Martyr's Cemetery.