Monday, July 04, 2005

Maverick Gaddafi calls for borderless Africa - Yahoo! News

Maverick Gaddafi calls for borderless Africa - Yahoo! News: "Gaddafi has since 1999 pushed for the creation of a United States of Africa, complete with its own parliament and institutions. He says his plan does not necessarily mean a country's sovereignty will be sacrificed.

Banners at the summit read 'The United States of Africa is the hope' and 'Enough plundering of African resources.'

Not wanting to offend Gaddafi, whose oil wealth and aggressive diplomacy have won him friends around the continent, African leaders praised the ideas and agreed to review them.

In power since a 1969 coup, Gaddafi says African nations must unite to survive in an increasingly globalized world.

The ideas sound seductive to many ordinary Africans who admire his anti-Western opinions and pride in the continent.

'We are one single nation ... we need to a unique African common market that is competitive,' said Gaddafi, dressed in a purple traditional robe and hat.

'Fifty percent of gold in the world is in Africa, 95 percent of diamonds are in Africa and 95 percent of platinum is found in Africa ... it's a very rich continent, but it is not exploited (by Africans),' he said.

RALLYING CALL

Gaddafi made African unity a rallying call after failing to get fellow Arab leaders to support his campaign for a united Arab nation.

Critics of Gaddafi question his motives, describing the Union as a pitch for power in the continent. Others question the practicalities.

'His views are not in line with the rest of Africa on a number of issues,' said Sue Mbaya, director of the Pretoria-based Southern African Regional Poverty Network.

An African diplomat, who asked to remain anonymous, said: 'Gaddafi is a maverick and will remain a maverick.'"

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