WEB POSTED 09-21-1999
calls for reparations for African slave trade
Libya—Europe and America must express their sorrow to Africans on
the continent and in the Diaspora for the horrors of slavery, Libyan
leader Muammar Gadhafi said Sept. 8, during the opening session of the 4th
Extraordinary Summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) held here.
And one of the ways they can do it is to return the treasures they have robbed from the African continent, he said.
"From manuscripts to archeological finds ... they happen to be in museums of countries that dominated us and colonized us and we pay to go to these museums," he said. "This money belongs to Africa."
Col. Gadhafi said that Africa has always been considered "a slave mine and a backyard to the rest of the world. Those trying to suck the blood of Africa are doing it against all mankind. Africa must contribute in an effective way in the building of a new world," he said.
His remarks were delivered to 43 African heads of state gathered at the Ouagadougou Conference Halls, a complex of buildings he renamed in honor of the OAU’s 1998 decision at the capital of Burkina Faso to ignore the ban on international flights into Libya.
The United Nations imposed the ban and other sanctions in 1992 after America and Britain insisted that Libya was responsible for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. Two Libyan nationals accused of the crime have since turned themselves in for trial to a Scottish court in The Hague.
Col. Gadhafi’s call comes in the wake of an earlier announcement in Accra, Ghana, by the African World Reparations and Repatriation Truth Commission demanding $777 trillion (U.S.) from former colonial countries for slavery. The Commission said it would set up an international team of lawyers from Africa and the Diaspora to pursue all legal means to collect the money.
Col. Gadhafi also told the leaders that Africa must have veto power at the UN Security Council, just as China, Russia, England, France and the United States have the power to stop resolutions.
"We shouldn’t allow the Security Council, with a handful of super powers, to decide our future," he said. "We cannot continue to be useless and powerless at the UN General Assembly when Africa represents nearly a third of UN-member countries.
"The African is greater than the Russian, the French or the British who hold vote powers at the Security Council," he said.
Col. Gadhafi compared the Sirte summit to the one held in Ouagadougou where a historic, independent African decision was made. Coming together to unite Africa shows that "Africans are quite capable of getting together at the right time and the right place," he said.
1999 FCN Publishing