President Jacob Zuma. File picture

 

New York - President Jacob Zuma has repeated his claim that the bombing of Libya by a Nato-led coalition in 2011 led to the current refugee crisis in Europe.

Speaking at a function hosted by South Africa at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Friday night to celebrate South Africa’s leadership of the G77 Plus China grouping of developing nations, Zuma urged co-operation among all nations on certain issues.

“Just yesterday we could not agree when Africans had a roadmap to peace to change Libya,” he said.

The bombing of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces after a vote in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – supported by South Africa – to authorise military intervention to protect civilians, had created insecurity in that part of the world “and that is why the refugees are crossing”.

He said the refugee crisis was “a man-made problem”. The G77 Plus China developing countries and the developed countries should “move towards agreeing on some issues”.

The function was attended by several heads of state, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel who, unlike South Africa, voted against the UNSC resolution to take military action against Libya, outgoing Tanzanian president Jikaya Kikwete, Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi, Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema, Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and ministers and ambassadors from various countries, including from the African Union itself.

Zuma was to meet UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon later on Saturday, and attend a meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council.

ANA