Libyan envoy to S. Africa calls on Gaddafi to quit

AP , Monday 28 Feb 2011

Libyan ambassador to South Africa calls on Gaddafi to resign

Graffiti showing a caricature of Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi with writing in arabic reading "The Monkey of Monkeys of Africa", a reference to Gaddafi's self-declared title "The King of Kings of Africa", is seen on a wall in Benghazi, Libya Wednesday 23 February 2011. (AP)

Libya's ambassador to South Africa on Monday urged leader Muamar Gaddafi to resign, joining other foreign envoys around the world in rejecting his regime.

Abdalla Alzubedi told journalists that he and others at the mission in Pretoria, South Africa had considered resigning, but they decided that would leave the people of Libya without representation at a time of crisis.

"I would like  him to resign because it is in the interest of the people for him to resign," Alzubedi said.

The ambassador said he knew Gaddafi, and did not believe the longtime leader would accept calls for him to quit.

"He will not step down easily," Alzubedi said, adding that he feared that will mean escalating fighting.

Gaddafi has launched by far the bloodiest crackdown in a wave of anti-government uprisings sweeping the Arab world, the most serious challenge to his four decades in power.

The United States, Britain and the U.N. Security Council all slapped sanctions on Libya this weekend.

Over the weekend, the three African nations on the Security Council - Gabon, Nigeria and South Africa -  joined the others on the main U.N. decision-making body in unanimously voting for sanctions against Gaddafi.

South Africa said that with its vote, it was sending "a clear and unambiguous message to the Libyan authorities to end the carnage against its people." Gaddafi has spent his country's oil wealth liberally on aid and development projects across the African continent.

But he is also seen as a meddler who inflamed wars and contributed to instability in other African countries.

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