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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid