Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

20 March 2011

Africa: South Africa and Continent Have Key Libyan Responsibilities - Tutu

press release

“If Africa’s leaders held their peers to account there would be no need for the people of Libya to suffer human rights violations,” said founder of the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. “And there would be no need for United Nations sanctioned military interventions in Libya.

“Instead, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has for more than 40 years honed his skills in the art of resource management to win friends and influence people. And as a result, Africa seems powerless to stop him.

“The scenes of brutality being meted out with sophisticated weaponry by Libyan security forces against their own civilian population make God weep. With every blow they strike, each human rights abuse they perpetrate, they bring shame on Africa,” Archbishop Tutu said.

“As South Africans, we are acutely conscious of the value of human rights and democracy. We prosecuted a noble struggle against a morally corrupt and brutal apartheid regime, emerging as an example to the world in the fields of peaceful settlement, peacekeeping and reconciliation.

“The South African government took the moral position last week of supporting United Nations Resolution 1973 on Libya. Now, it should go a step further and urgently and unequivocally condemn the violence being perpetrated against Libyans.

“May events in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya herald a new dawn for African politics in which leaders are not only accountable to their people but also answerable to their peers,” Archbishop Tutu said.

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