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Gambian President hits out at African Union over Gaddafi protests

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has hit out at the African Union for its "unacceptable silence" on the violent responses to revolts in North African nations and urged Libya's Muammar Gaddafi to step down immediately.
 Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has criticised the AU
 
 
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has hit out at the African Union for its "unacceptable silence" on the violent responses to revolts in North African nations and urged Libya's Muammar Gaddafi to step down immediately.

"It is a shocking reality that in all the happenings, beginning with the crisis in Tunisia, to that in Egypt, and now Libya and countries in North Africa, the leadership of the African Union (AU) neither made a statement nor took action despite the fact that these were uprisings affecting member states," said Jammeh's statement read on national television.

The Gambian government said the African Union should have at least discussed how to avoid brutality. Instead, the Gambians said, the lead has been taken by non-African countries.

"The AU should not and cannot play second fiddle in situations as we now see them happening on the continent," Jammeh's statement said.

"If the AU cannot stop the carnage taking place in some of its member states, then it cannot be in a position to bring a continental government capable of lifting Africa out of abject poverty and under-development. Whether Black or Arab Africa, we are all Africans without discrimination."

A statement from the chairman of the AU's commission Wednesday condemned the "disproportionate use of force against civilians" in Libya and deplored "the many human lives lost so far."

"The chairperson of the Commission reiterates the appeal made by the (African Union) Peace and Security Council for an immediate end of the repression and violence," said the statement from Jean Ping.

"He stresses that only dialogue and consultation will enable the Libyans to find appropriate solutions to the challenges facing their country and to embark upon the necessary reforms to fulfill the aspirations of their people."

The Gambian president's statement, which also urged Gaddafi to resign, has come as a shock considering the relations between Libya and Gambia.

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