News / Africa

Clinton Urges Africa to Abandon Gadhafi

United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a press availability at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, June 13, 2011
United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a press availability at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 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 Clinton.

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 Monday.

Discuss this story and others on VOA forums

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid