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Wing of South Africa's ANC calls for war crime charges on NATO's Libya conflict

South Africa's ANC Youth League said the ICC should lodge war crime charges against Western leaders for their leadership of the Libyan conflict, but with less than half a million members, the effect of its demands may be limited.

By Savious KwinikaCorrespondent / June 20, 2011



Midrand, South Africa

The militant youth wing of South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), helped put President Jacob Zuma into office in the 2008 elections. Now youth leaders are demanding that Mr. Zuma’s government take a few more radical steps if it wants to keep their support, including lodging war crimes charges against the US President Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and British Prime Minister David Cameron for launching a foreign military intervention in Libya that has led to the death of innocent civilians.

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At the end of the four-day ANC Youth League (ANCYL) Congress on Sunday, the league, led by firebrand Julius Malema, announced that it wants the International Criminal court (ICC) to arrest Mr. Obama, Mr. Sarkozy, and Mr. Cameron for attempting to assassinate Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

"The National Congress expresses displeasure with the reemergence of a political tendency in the ANC of politically and ideologically associating with imperialists on foreign policy decisions, particularly as it relates to Libya and Ivory Coast,” the league said in a statement (read full statement here). "We call on the South African government to delegitimize the NATO military campaign by publicly declaring it [a] criminal neocolonial venture against defenseless people and undermining of the sovereignty of a nation-state.

"We further ask the South African government to lodge a criminal case with the International Criminal Court against Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy for launching an unprovoked war, destroying civilian infrastructure, killing innocent civilians, and attempting to assassinate a foreign head of state.”

Calls for nationalization, 'land grabs'

Mr. Malema gave South African analysts much to chatter about during the congress, held at a convention center in the middle class suburb of Midrand, north of Johannesburg. Along with some 5,000 Youth League delegates from across the country, attendees included South Africa's Deputy President Kgalema Mothlante, several government ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, and representatives of other African liberation parties, including Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).

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