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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 97 14:12:57 CDT
From: David Muller <davemull@ozemail.com.au>
Subject: South News Oct 24
Organization: South Movement
Article: 20621

Mandela urges end to sanctions against Libya

South News, 24 October 1997

Nelson Mandela urged the United Nations on Thursday to lift sanctions on Libya. The South African president’s call was a rebuff to the United States, the main backer of the sanctions that prohibit arms sales to Libya, ban flights to and from the country, and limit diplomatic contacts.

The U.N. measures are harming our African brothers and sisters, Mandela said in comments broadcast on Libyan television. Mandela decried the sufferings the people of Libya have gone through because of these sanctions. The suffering of the people of any single country, he said, affects all of us no matter where we find ourselves.

That is why it is so important that multilateral bodies assume collective responsibility for finding fair and just solutions to problems in the world, taking into account equally the considerations of the weak and the mighty, the rich and the poor, developed and developing nations alike, he said.

As Africans, especially as those who have benefited from African solidarity, we cannot be unmoved by the plight of African brothers, he added. We should all redouble our efforts to have Africa’s collective voice heard in the councils of the world in finding such fair, just and even-handed solutions.

Libya on Tuesday has accused the United States and Great Britain of adopting obstructive policies in the Lockerbie case, which concluded taking testimony this week at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands.

Libya has proposed that the two suspects be tried by a court in a third country in the presence of American or Scottish magistrates. This proposal has been supported by the Organization of African Unity, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference and the Non-aligned Movement. At the United Nations last month, Russian Foreign Minister Yevegeny Primakov, whose country holds a permanent seat on the Security Council, said Libya’s proposal to allow the suspects to stand trial in a neutral country before a Scottish judge deserves attention.

South African President Nelson Mandela has praised the role played by the Libyan leader, Col. Moammar Kadhafi, and his people, in the fight to eliminate apartheid. The people of Libya shared the trenches with us in our struggle for freedom. You were in the front ranks of those whose selfless and practical support helped assure a victory that was as much yours as it is ours, he said in a banquet speech in Tripoli Wednesday.

During the long years in the struggle to end apartheid, Kadhafi gave tremendous material and financial support to the fighters of Mandela’s African National Congress. Mandela said he was in Tripoli to renew, in person, the strong bonds between our nations and to thank Libya for the assistance it gave in the liberation struggle.

The South African leader left Tripoli Thursday morning after the one-day visit during which he held several rounds of talks with Mu’ammar Qadhafi. He received a triumphant welcome Wednesday afternoon in Tripoli when he arrived from Jerba in Tunisia by land because of the United Nations air embargo imposed on the north African country.