The government of Botswana today terminated diplomatic relations with Libya over “massive and disproportionate force visited upon peaceful protestors by the Libyan security forces.”
“In light of the Libyan government’s response to the events of the past few days, the government of Botswana feels compelled to take a rare step of terminating diplomatic relations with Libya with immediate effect,” says a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued this afternoon.
Botswana says she agrees with the international community which is calling for action to be taken against those persons who have committed crimes against humanity in the continuing conflict in Libya. President Ian Khama’s administration says it hopes such persons shall be referred to the International Criminal Court to account for their deeds.
Botswana has previously condemned the governments of toppled Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.
The Minister of Foreign affairs, Phandu Sekelemani, on Monday summoned the Libyan representative, to “protest in the strongest possible terms against the killings and condemn these actions.”
The government protests “disproportionate use of force” by the security forces against unarmed and peaceful demonstrators contrary to internationally accepted norms of freedom of expression and assembly.
“This act on the part of the government is tantamount to crime against humanity and is incompatible with tenets and ethics of a united Africa as envisaged by African leaders and enthusiastically pursued by the Libyan Leadership,” the government says.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has never harboured his ambition to become president of a united Africa.