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Sat, 28 May 2011 10:51 - Updated Sat, 28 May 2011 10:51

African Leaders Urge Nato to Stop Airstrikes

Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa — The Africa Union (AU) security summit ended today in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, calling for an outright end to NATO-led air strikes on Libya.

The 53 state bloc also said the air strikes in Libya have gone beyond the range of the UN resolutions mandated to protect civilians.

"As far as NATO air strikes are concerned, you will see a clear call by heads of state and government for those air strikes to come to an end," said Ramtane Lamamra, the AU's Peace and Security Commissioner on Wednesday.

"This is part of the requirement for political solutions to become possible," he said, adding, "The African Union shares the belief that what is taking place now goes beyond the scope of [UN resolutions] 1970 and 1973."

AU calls come as Libya's government proposed a new ceasefire and offered fresh talks with rebels.

Participants in the summit denounced the direct military intervention of western powers and accused the UN Security Council of double standards in their approach to resolutions to different conflicts.

The AU Commission chief, Jean Ping, while addressing 37 heads of states at the opening of the summit on Wednesday, noted that some international players have been undermining the continent's attempts to resolve the conflict

Some international players seem to be denying Africa any significant role in the search for a solution to the Libyan conflict," he said adding "Africa is not going to be reduced to the status of an observer of its own calamities" said Ping.

The two day assembly was held on account of the decision out of the 275th meeting of the UN Peace and Security Council on 26 April and has assessed the state of the security, challenges and crises facing the continent.

An international coalition intervened on 19 March, launching air raids and missile strikes under a UN mandate aimed at protecting civilians from Gaddafi's forces. NATO took command of the air campaign on 31 March