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[casi] Fw: Africa: Mandela & Africa on Iraq

----- Original Message -----
From: "Africa Action" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 4:03 AM
Subject: Africa: Mandela & Africa on Iraq

> Africa Policy E-Journal
> February 6, 2003 (030206)
> Africa: Mandela & Africa on Iraq
> (Reposted from sources cited below)
> This posting contains last week's statement by Nelson Mandela
> on the threat of war in Iraq, and excerpts from two related
> articles, one a commentary from Nigeria and the other an article on
> the anti-war initiatives by South Africa's Ambassador at the United
> Nations, Dumisani Kumalo.  As the article notes, Ambassador Kumalo
> was a key figure in the grassroots divestment campaign against
> apartheid while based at the ACOA/Africa Fund in New York in the
> 1980s, two of the predecessor organizations of Africa Action.]
> Notably, the U.S. anti-war movement today includes a similar
> strategy, as over 60 U.S. cities - including San Francisco,
> Chicago, and Baltimore - have adopted anti-war resolutions. Africa
> Action is proud of the role being played today by Ambassador
> Kumalo.
> The exceptionally strong statement by the former South African
> president came as the U.S. push towards war continued to
> accelerate, and reflected widely held views in Africa, around the
> world, and among large numbers of Americans. Former U.S. President
> Jimmy Carter, while finding his fellow Nobel Prize winner's remarks
> "excessive," stressed that they reflected views that should lead
> U.S. leaders to reflect on the "doubt and consternation" caused by
> U.S. policies.
> The African Union, meeting in Addis Ababa on February 3, also made
> a statement on Iraq, reiterating the need go give diplomatic
> efforts more time to work.
> U.S. groups involved in planning anti-war actions on February 15
> include United for Peace and Justice
> ( and Black Voices for Peace
> ( Black Voices for Peace is headed by Damu
> Smith, who served as executive director of the Washington Office on
> Africa and the Washington Office on Africa Educational Fund (WOAEF)
> in the late 1980s. WOAEF became the Africa Policy Information
> Center, and is now also part of Africa Action.
> [Meanwhile, new details are emerging as journalists and activists
> examine President Bush's budget commitments on HIV/AIDS. The Boston
> Globe reported on February 5 that for 2004 the administration is
> offsetting part of the new AIDS commitment with proposed cuts of
> $191 million in other international health accounts. According to
> the Global AIDS Alliance, the White House is also now pressuring
> U.S. Senators to reduce total AIDS authorization for 2004 from $2.5
> billion to $2 billion, and to keep support for the Global Fund at
> current low levels of $200 million a year. For an earlier Africa
> Action statement on the President's announcement, see
> +++++++++++++++++end summary/introduction+++++++++++++++++++++++
> Mandela Blasts U.S. Policy Toward Iraq
> January 30, 2003
> By Nelson Mandela
> Sandton, South Africa
> Former South African President Nelson Mandela strongly criticised
> U.S. policy toward Iraq in a speech delivered Thursday to the
> International Women's Forum meeting in Sandton, South Africa. The
> speech, on the theme of Courageous Leadership for  Global
> Transformation, was recorded by SABC. What follows are excerpts
> from that speech.
> It's a tragedy what is happening, what Bush is doing. All Bush
> wants is Iraqi oil. There is no doubt that the U.S. is behaving
> badly. Why are they not seeking to confiscate weapons of mass
> destruction from their ally Israel? This is just an excuse  to get
> Iraq's oil.
> We have not had world wars in 57 years, and it is because of the
> United Nations. We should condemn both [British Prime Minister
> Tony] Blair and Bush and let them know in no uncertain terms that
> what they are doing is wrong. Other international  countries like
> France and Russia must influence the United Nations to condemn what
> he [Bush] is doing.
> Bush is now undermining the United Nations. He is acting outside
> it, not withstanding the fact that the United Nations was the idea
> of President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Both Bush, as well as
> Tony Blair, are undermining an idea which was  sponsored by their
> predecessors. They do not care. Is it because the secretary-general
> of the United Nations [Ghanaian Kofi Annan] is now a black man?
> [APPLAUSE] They never did that when secretary-generals were white.
> What is the lesson of them acting outside the United Nations? Are
> they saying any country which believes that they will not be able
> to get the support of the countries with a veto [in the United
> Nations] are entitled to go outside the United  Nations and to
> ignore it? Or are they saying we, the United States, are the only
> superpower in the world now, [so] we can act as we like? Are they
> saying this is a lesson we should follow or are they saying 'we are
> special, what we do should not be  done by anybody [else]?'
> If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in
> the world, it is the United States of America. [APPLAUSE] They
> don't care for human beings. Fifty-seven years ago, when Japan was
> retreating on all fronts, they decided to drop the  atom bomb in
> Hiroshima and Nagasaki; killed a lot of innocent people, who are
> still suffering the effects of those bombs.
> Those bombs were not aimed against the Japanese, they were aimed
> against the Soviet Union to say, 'look, this is the power that we
> have. If you dare oppose what we do, this is what is going to
> happen to you'. Because they are so arrogant, they  decided to kill
> innocent people in Japan, who are still suffering from that.
> Who are they, now, to pretend that they are the policemen of the
> world? [APPLAUSE] To want to decide for the people in Iraq what
> they should do with their government and with their leadership?
> If this is done by the United Nations, if the United Nations says
> that 'Saddam Hussein is not carrying out the resolutions of the
> United Nations, therefore we the United Nations are going to take
> action,' I will support that without reservation.  [APPLAUSE]
> What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no
> foresight, who cannot think properly, [LAUGHTER] is now wanting to
> plunge the world into a holocaust. I am happy that the people of
> the world - especially those of the United  States of America - are
> standing up and opposing their own president.
> I hope that that opposition will one day make him understand that
> he has made the greatest mistake of his life in trying to bring
> about carnage and to police the world, without any authority of the
> international body. It is something we have to  condemn without
> reservation.
> I only hope that the people of the United States will make Bush
> aware that he has made a big mistake to want to surpass the global
> body, the United Nations, whose ideals are to bring peace and
> eradicate wars.
> The people of the U.S. should use their democracy to get rid of
> him. It is best for the U.S. to use the ballot box and
> demonstrations to draw attention to the issue. [LOUD AND SUSTAINED
> And the women at this forum are there to look into these things, to
> be bold with their leadership and to condemn what is wrong.
> And finally, we have of course the question of globalisation in
> this country. As [the former South African High Commissioner to the
> United Kingdom and current CEO of South African Tourism (SATOUR)]
> Cheryl Carolus has said, somebody who is saying he  or she is not
> going to accept globalisation, is like saying I do not recognise
> winter, I am not going to put on clothing for winter!
> She has put it very well, because what happens today in northern
> Europe has got an effect on our region the same day. Globalisation
> is already there, whether we like it or not.
> And of course globalisation at the present moment favours the rich
> and the mighty. We have to fight that. It must favour all human
> beings, whether in Europe or in Africa. And I'm sure this is the
> task of this forum to make sure that such  irregularities are
> rectified.
> Thank you very much.
> *************************************************************
> Bush And Mandela's Moral Challenge
> Daily Trust (Abuja)
> February 3, 2003
> By Issa Aremu
> [excerpts: full text at
> US President, George W. Bush "has no foresight" and "cannot think
> properly." And that is official and authoritative. The
> authoritative verdict is that of Nobel Peace laureate and former
> South African President, Nelson Mandela. Perhaps there can be no
> such authority on foresight than Mandela himself who as far back as
> 1961 when others were blind to see it all declared; "No power on
> earth can stop an oppressed people determined to win their
> freedom." His foresight and deep-seated resolve together   with
> that of millions of other compatriots saw South African black
> people through the tyranny of apartheid, notwithstanding his
> exceptional singular sacrifice of 27 years in prison. Bush can
> certainly ignore rhetoric from Iraq and North Korea to his   own
> chosen war-path but he can only ignore this exceptional moral
> challenge from Mandela at his own moral peril and consequent
> political decline.
> It is not just that the message comes from Madiba but precisely
> because true to most of his worthy interventions since retirement
> (without being tired) the latest from Mandela carries similar words
> of wisdom meant to rescue humanity form those bent on   destroying
> it.
> Take for instance Mandela's charge that Bush lacks foresight.
> Nothing could be more charitable because yours sincerely thinks
> that together with lack of foresight the President of the most
> powerful (not necessarily the most moral) country on earth also
> lacks benefit of hindsight. When Bush declared that regardless of
> UN and increasing anti-war global coalition, America would 'go it
> alone', it was clear that memory is in short memory in Washington.
> America and indeed any nation cannot go it alone in   our ever
> interdependent world. It is not just about some brute force or
> brutal power but about a painful reality that we all need each
> other after all.
> In late August 2001, Bush and his arrogant and ignorant team
> ignored the world opinion and boycotted   Durbar UN conference on
> Racism and Xenophobia on the account and assumption that America
> could go it alone and disregard resolutions that were not
> favourable to its positions with regards to Israel and Palestine.
> It was a great paradox that a month   after, in the wake of
> September 11 terror attacks, America actually needed the world than
> the world needed it! All of a sudden, American unilateralism gave
> way to world multilateralism as the world rose in solidarity to
> condemn terrorism and join US in   solidarity and support with
> Africa inclusive.
> ...
> *************************************************************
> Sunday Times - South Africa
> Feb. 2, 2003
> [excerpts: for full text visit Sunday Times website]
> Our man shakes up the UN
> South Africa's ambassador has led a spirited campaign against the
> US going to war, writes Justice Malala
> It is an icy Wednesday morning in New York and Dumisani Shadrack
> Kumalo, South Africa's ambassador to the United Nations, is running
> again.
> He has just been told that an important vote is about to take place
> in the UN General Assembly, and he rushes out of his office, jumps
> into a car and gets dropped off at the UN headquarters. ...
> Kumalo has become one of the most important and powerful
> politicians in the UN. Although acknowledged across the spectrum as
> popular and hardworking since his appointment in April 1999,
> respect for him has grown with the crisis surrounding Iraq.
> Kumalo, representing South Africa as leader of the Non-Aligned
> Movement and the African Union, essentially opposed the US by
> requesting that debates on Iraq take place not behind the closed
> doors of the 15-member UN Security Council but in the General
> Assembly, where all countries could take part.
> He made it possible for the world to express its views on the US's
> intention to attack Iraq. Until Kumalo's intervention in October,
> the debate had been limited to the ambassadors of the US, Russia,
> China, Britain and France. No longer.
> "We cannot dictate to the Security Council. But we, as UN member
> states, do have the right to have our views expressed before them,
> so they know how we feel about this particular issue," Kumalo said
> at the time.
> The debate led to so many countries expressing outrage at the
> prospect of war that UN weapons inspectors were dispatched to Iraq
> with the world assured, at least for the time being, that they
> would be allowed to do their work.
> The debate also gave notice to the US that the world disapproved of
> its belligerence.
> Last week, when UN inspection leaders Hans Blix and Mohammed El
> Baradei reported back to the UN, Kumalo had managed to ensure that
> their report was available to all members of the UN, not just the
> Security Council.
> His interventions have led to acknowledgement that the debate on
> the "war on terror" has many sides, and that developing countries
> can raise a voice against wars that have the potential to devastate
> them. "All we have done as South Africa is prove that you do not
> need to be in the Security Council to contribute to international
> peace and security. We have forced the only public debate on Iraq,
> where more than 100 countries spoke," Kumalo says.
> Organisations like the UN were founded to preserve peace, not
> support wars, he says, lamenting the fact that the organisation's
> work is largely bureaucratic. The UN needs to focus more on
> "helping poor people", he says.
> "That is why it would be a shame if there is a war. Think of our
> neighbours in Africa. If this war goes on it means the price of oil
> goes through the roof. It is not the petrol that people think
> about. It is the poor people who rely on paraffin who will suffer.
> It will be the farmers who rely on diesel," he says.
> "If paraffin goes up 50 cents a litre, then it will wipe out a lot
> of people because we are going into winter in our part of the
> world. War for us is a non-starter."
> But tackling the US does not mean Kumalo is unaware of what the US
> and Britain, supported by other countries, might decide to do. He
> acknowledges that war may indeed be imminent.
> After US President George W Bush's speech this week indicating that
> war may come soon, Kumalo said: "I am a perpetual optimist. I think
> that war can be avoided. You can't work in the UN and be about war.
> "The US may still end up going to war, but I hope we allow the
> international ways of dealing with issues to prevail. The truth is
> we are talking about the world's only superpower and if they decide
> to attack Iraq then they certainly can do so. Nobody can stop them.
> We just wish and hope that they will consider that other people
> around the world think otherwise."
> Throughout Kumalo's interventions in the UN, he has kept up his wit
> and charm, and he gives the impression that he is always having
> fun. His style is a mixture of the Left-leaning intellectual and
> the street-smart township boy, essentially a diplomat who knows how
> to fight - and how far he can take a fight.
> His large frame and booming voice make his presence felt at
> gatherings, and his laugh is a fixture in the corridors of the UN.
> His colleagues at the world organisation say the friendly exterior
> hides a man whose commitment to President Thabo Mbeki's vision of
> a united and prosperous developing world is unshakeable.
> His toughness was apparent in his life before the UN. After working
> as a journalist for the Sunday Times, Drum and The World, Kumalo
> fled into exile in the US in 1977. He dedicated his life to
> campaigning against apartheid.
> While in New York, he was attached to the ANC's UN mission,
> interacting with the Special Committee Against Apartheid. Kumalo
> also served as projects director of the Africa Fund, a US
> non-governmental organisation that spurred more than 30 states, 400
> universities and scores of cities to remove their pension funds
> from US banks and companies that were doing business with the
> apartheid regime.
> During that time, Kumalo and others picketed the South African
> mission to the UN so regularly and ferociously that it moved to a
> residential area (where US law prohibits demonstrations) just to
> avoid him. Today, he sits in the office where, in the 1980s, a
> letter was written to him saying he was not welcome back home in
> South Africa because of his picketing.
> Kumalo returned to South Africa to vote in the first democratic
> election, and in the UN there is a postcard showing him leading
> Soweto residents to vote on April 27 1994.
> In 1997, he returned to South Africa more permanently to head the
> Department of Foreign Affairs' US desk. In April 1999 he accepted
> the job of ambassador to the UN.
> Kumalo believes the UN is one of the most difficult diplomatic
> postings because one deals with a plethora of issues, not just one
> country and its laws.
> On Wednesday morning he dealt with issues and delegates from
> Rwanda, Britain, the Palestinian Authority and the US - and that
> doesn't count those who stopped him in the corridors of the UN.
> His deep opposition to the proposed war on Iraq may give the
> impression that he is against the US, but Kumalo says he is
> sympathetic to Americans' feelings, particularly about the
> September 11 terrorist attacks. For years he worked across the
> street from the World Trade Center at the American Committee on
> Africa and spent a lot of time in the twin towers.
> On September 11 he had intended to go to the World Trade Center to
> buy a pair of shoes (he buys all his shoes at the same shop because
> his feet are wide and most shoes are narrow), but his wife's flight
> from South Africa was delayed so he did not go.
> Waiting at the office, he saw fire coming out of the first tower
> and saw the second aircraft hit. "To me the events of that day had
> a personal effect. I personally knew many people who worked in
> there, who died there.
> "I used to do everything at the World Trade Center. It was a
> personal shock, and a shock for everyone else.
> "So the US was woken up to the fact that terrorism touches
> everyone. The challenge for them is how to respond. The
> disadvantage that the US faces is that it is a major power. It is
> like an elephant: when it reacts the people on the receiving end
> experience it as an avalanche.
> "The US has the right to defend itself. The only thing we are
> saying is that in defending itself we must not break the norms and
> rules that the international community has agreed to," he says.
> Asked if the onus is not on the Iraqis to produce the weapons they
> are allegedly hoarding, Kumalo says: "Maybe there is nothing there.
> It is also good to know that there is nothing, because that means
> we must leave the sanctions and allow the people of Iraq to rebuild
> their country.
> "That is precisely the point: for the inspectors to go and find
> whatever there is and destroy it. The state we are all shooting for
> is a state of nothing, no weapons of mass destruction."
> The Iraq debate has put a spotlight on the effectiveness of the UN
> as an institution and many commentators have asked what the future
> holds for it if the US decides, unilaterally, to go to war. For
> Kumalo, who is one of the facilitators of a committee to revitalise
> the UN, the challenge is to make its General Assembly more
> powerful.
> "This whole Iraq issue is being handled only in the Security
> Council, but it is really an issue which should be in the General
> Assembly and be dealt with by the 191 members. Unfortunately for
> us, the assembly is not at the strength where it can deal with such
> issues," he says.
> "If the UN were really about doing its work, then it would be
> dealing with issues of poverty and underdevelopment. Those are the
> issues the UN should be about. War only adds to misery."
> Kumalo's efforts at the UN mean he is always in demand, always on
> the move between meetings and speeches and functions.
> But these days everyone at the UN knows that when the man who is
> always running stops to talk about Iraq, a lot of important people
> stop to reflect. And that includes the leaders of the world's most
> powerful country, the United States of America.
> +++++++++++++++++++++Document Profile+++++++++++++++++++++
> Date distributed (ymd): 030206
> Region: Continent-Wide
> Issue Areas: +security/peace+ +US policy focus+
> ************************************************************
> The Africa Action E-Journal is a free information service
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