Namibia deplores ‘assassination’By: CATHERINE SASMAN
MINISTER of Foreign Affairs Utoni Nujoma says Namibia deplores the extra-judicial assassination of Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi last week.
“The capture of Colonel Gaddafi was a good opportunity for him to be tried in a court of law of whatever accusations were stacked against him. But what we have witnessed was an extra-judicial killing of Gaddafi by the NTC [National Transitional Council] under the command of Nato,” said Nujoma, adding that any prisoner of war according to international humanitarian strictures should be treated humanely.
Gaddafi was wounded and captured alive on Thursday but was shot dead while he was incarcerated by forces of the NTC.
Equally disturbed by the death of Gaddafi and the media frenzy over it, political analyst Andre du Pisani said Gaddafi’s capture and killing had turned into a “spectacle” and “global media event in bad taste”.
“It seems brutality has no bounds,” said Du Pisani on Friday. “There are alternatives to regime change. It is sad that it has come to this not just for Libya but for the rest of the world.”
But thousands of Libyans are celebrating the death of dictator Gaddafi, with many feeling that this his death marks the end of months of battle against the autocratic regime over which Gaddafi reigned for more than 40 years.
This sentiment was echoed by Namibian political scientist Bill Lindeke, who said the Libyans can now look forward without having to look over their shoulder.
And while Libyan society consists of diverse ethnic groups, Lindeke felt they appear to have a strong common agenda for the future.
Graham Hopwood also felt it would have been better had Gaddafi been captured and tried by a competent court in an attempt to uphold justice and human rights.
Du Pisani said Namibia would continue to support a regional and African Union (AU) position on Libya, which has consistently held that a negotiated settlement be found within which Gaddafi would have played a part.
“It is hard to tell how realistic this might have been considering the players,” said Du Pisani.
Be that as it may, Du Pisani felt the Libyan question poses a real challenge for the AU, which has a divided view on the National Transitional Council (NTC), and which could cause a rift between Arab and Black Africa.
Du Pisani further commented that Namibia might have taken a principled stance on the Libyan situation, it was not a very coherent position, saying there is a need to revisit the 2004 White Paper on Namibia’s foreign policy.
“It seems absurd to stand on a moral principle and not recognise the facts on the ground,” said Lindeke on Namibia’s Libyan position.
“The AU should not admit regular membership unless countries have proper democratic governance in place; that is the principle they should stand by.”
Hopwood felt Namibia’s position will have to change – and will – over time because the NTC is now the de facto Libyan government.
US President Barack Obama said the people of Libya now have the opportunity to determine their own destiny with a new and democratic country.
“Today, we can definitively say that the Gaddafi regime has come to an end,” Obama on Thursday after news broke out of Gaddafi’s death.
“The new government is consolidating the control over the country. And one of the longest-serving dictators is no more.”
The Namibian commentators said it is now up to the Libyan people to build an inclusive democratic Libya.