"I want a United States of Africa"-Gaddafi;
Diouf suggests "Confederation of African States"


One of the most controversial leaders in the world, and president of the North African/Arab Republic of Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi has said in an interview published August 20 that African nations to should put aside their differences and create a "United States of Africa.''

"I want to create a new Africa,'' Gaddafi told the French daily Le Figaro, saying that the jumble of nations on the African continent could not survive economically unless they united. "It's in the interest of Europe, of America, of China and of Japan that there exists a group called the United States of Africa. It's the historic solution for Africa,'' Gaddafi said.

Modern railways, roads, and air links must be created to link the nations of sub-Saharan Africa with those of northern Africa, Gaddafi said. He called on Europe to help develop those projects. The Libyan leader also proposed the creation an African Central Bank and suggested the continent could eventually have its own single currency such as was created in Europe last year.

Gaddafi said his proposals for a united Africa were a result of Europe's desire to have dealings with regional groupings rather than individual countries. The proposals could be considered at a special summit in Libya on September 6-7 of heads of state of the Organization of African Unity that is to discuss revising the organisation's charter.

Gaddafi has been facing heated and long-running conflicts with the United States emanating, largely, from terrorism charges that Gaddafi has been the patron such ugly acts as the killing and wounding of hundreds of civilians. He is also facing sanctions by western countries.

Dakar, Senegal - President Abdou Diouf of Senegal said Thursday August 19, he was favorable to the establishment of a confederation of African states. "We often talk of strengthening African solidarity. We must take an informed leap to arrive at some sort of confederation of African states," he told a press conference. The idea of such a confederation, mooted by the Libyan leader, Col. Moammar Kadhafi, is one of the issues to be discussed at the extraordinary summit of the Organization of African Unity in September in Tripoli, Diouf said.
The Senegalese leader stated, however, that the idea should be properly studied. "We are waiting to receive the conference documents to be in a position to clearly state our stand," he further stressed, in a reply to a question on his irregular appearances in OAU summits and non-participation in the debate on how to improve the organisation.

Diouf also gave his opinion on African conflicts, saying efforts to resolve them should involve the OAU and UN. "Weapons will not resolve anything," Diouf forcefully said, adding that it is through "continuous dialogue" that we will succeed in overcoming conflicts. He also confirmed his country's desire to be an associate member of the Maghreb Arab Union which currently groups Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia. Diouf had already expressed this desire a few weeks ago in an interview he gave to Moroccan television.

"I find it quite normal that, in view of our relations with member countries and our close proximity, Senegal can ask to have the status of an associate state," and this as a positive source of co-operation and integration, he stressed. On home economic front, the president acknowledged that the country's economic had stagnated with declining from the 5.7 percent recorded in 1998.

He attributed the poor performances partly to frequent power outages by the Senegalese National Electricity Company, which has just been privatised. Macro-eeconomic indicators are satisfactory, he added in apparent reference to the prevailing low inflation of 1 percent and the sound state of public finances.

Diouf rejects idea he's grooming a successor
Diouf dismissed local reports that he is grooming a successor the same way that he was groomed by former President Leopold Sedar Senghor. He added that this "If I am re-elected in the year 2000, I intend to go to the end of my seven- year term of office and then I will not run for another new term." He also condemned the riots which took place a few weeks ago in Dakar and Thies, 70 km from the capital, during which mosques were torched and a journalist brutalised. He noted that a secular country should be tolerant and appealed to politicians and religious leaders, the civil society and the press to enhance the atmosphere of national concord.