Monday, June 13, 2011


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton has called for African
nations to sever ties with Libyan
leader Moammar Gadhafi and
demand his removal.
Speaking from a lectern where
Gadhafi has often addressed
African assemblies, the secretary
of state acknowledged the
Libyan leader’s influence in the
53-member body. But she urged
African leaders to stand up for
the organization’s democratic
ideals and take the lead in
demanding his ouster.
"I know it is true over many
years, Gadhafi played a major
role in providing financial
support for many African nations
and institutions, including the
African Union, but it has become
clearer by the day he has lost his
legitimacy to rule, and we are
long past time when he can or
should remain in power," said
In the first-ever address by a U.S.
secretary of state to the African
Union, Clinton called for the
continent’s leaders to isolate
Gadhafi diplomatically.
"I urge all African states to call for
a genuine cease-fire and to call
for Gadhafi to step aside," she
said. "I also urge you to suspend
the operations of Gadhafi’s
embassies in your countries, to
expel pro-Gadhafi diplomats, and
to increase contact and support
for the [rebel] Transitional
National Council."
Speaking to an A.U. plenary hall
packed with diplomats and
dignitaries, Clinton hailed the so-
called "Arab Spring" bringing
about democratic reforms in
parts of North Africa and the
Middle East. She praised people in
countries long ruled by dictators
who are now demanding new
leadership, often, as she put it,
“at the top of their lungs."
"In places where jobs are scarce
and a tiny elite prospers while
most of the population struggles,
people, especially young people,
are channeling their frustration
into social, economic and political
change," said Clinton. "Their
message is clear to us all, the
status quo is broken, the old
ways of governing are no longer
acceptable, it is time for leaders
to lead with accountability, treat
their people with dignity, respect
their rights, and deliver economic
opportunity. And if they will not,
then it is time for them to go."
In what was billed as a major
policy address, Clinton received
applause for acknowledging the
plight of African women, calling
them“the hardest-working
women in the world."
"So often what they do is not
included in the formal economy,
it is not measured in the GDP,
and yet if all the women in Africa,
from Cairo to Cape Town decided
they would stop working for a
week, the economies of Africa
would collapse," she said.
Secretary Clinton was due to visit
a number of projects designed to
empower women during the
final day of her Africa tour. But
her visit was abruptly cut short
due to concern about an ash
cloud caused by a volcanic
eruption in neighboring Eritrea.
She flew back to Washington late

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