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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More