Clinton asks African leaders to distance themselves from Gaddafi


Posted on June 14, 2011 09:55

Speaking to African leaders on Monday, in what has been described as the first time a US secretary of state has addressed the full 53-member African Union at the commission’s headquarters in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, Hilary Clinton pleaded with with them to distance themselves from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

During her address, Clinton told the diplomatic community that the Libyan leader should leave power. She also urged African leaders to expel pro-Gadhafi diplomats from their countries and suspend the operations of Libyan embassies.

Clinton further asked African leaders to work with the Libyan opposition who have been fighting with the north African country’s government since the month of February, 2011.

“I know it is true that over many years Mr. Gaddafi has played a major role in providing financial support for many African nations and institutions, including the African Union. It has become clear by the day that he has lost his legitimacy to rule and that we are long past the day when he can remain in power,” said Hilary Clinton.

The African Union Commission, which has yet to demand the departure of the embattled Libyan leader, has been struggling to introduce a road map that gives precedence to dialogue and calls for a ceasefire in the northern African country.

The commission’s initiative has lacked a much needed support from Western countries, who have instead backed military intervention in Libya.

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