South Africa has been receiving some flack for not responding more quickly and more fiercely in respect of the unrelenting attacks on Libyan civilians by Gaddafi. And indeed there have been some rather strange pronouncements by South African officials. Still South Africa came out unequivocally in support of the United Nations Security Council’s decisive resolution on Libya and cannot be blamed for choosing to issue its strongest statement from the platform from which it wields most influence on the issue of Libya. That seems strategic. There have been several really excellent postings on the significance of the Security Council resolution on Libya. See for instance: Opinio Juris; War and Law; Justice in Conflict and this from the Open Society’s blog.
For more on South Africa’s role and interestingly that this decisive action comes from an arguably more diverse, divided Security Council, see my piece on the Mail and Guardian’s website.