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A truly shocking spectacle!

Feb 23, 2011, 11:28 AM

It is extremely disappointing and disheartening to read about current happenings, and view on television gruesome scenes, in the Arab world, especially the killing of innocent people in Libya.

The kind of killings we read or hear about in Libya, since last week, no longer have a place in Africa or, indeed, in any decent society.

We were totally shocked when we read of the brutal killings of people in Tunisia and Egypt, but unfortunately, now we see similar scenes in Libya, a country whose leader, Colonel Maummar Gaddafi, has for long campaigned for a United States of Africa.

The irony of scenes such as those occurring in the Middle East, especially now in Libya, will not be lost on anyone.

In any case, the use of force against peaceful protesters must stop!

According to reports, Libyan security forces have cracked down fiercely on demonstrators across the country, with fighting spreading to Tripoli after erupting in Libya’s oil-producing east last week, in a reaction to decades of repression and following uprisings that have toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt.

Media reports cited Human Rights Watch as stating that at least 233 people have been killed.

As we always emphasize on these pages, the latest move in the Middle East clearly demonstrates the reality that power truly belongs to the people, and not to any leader.

After four decades in power, the Libyan leader should be prepared to retire gracefully, especially when his people are demanding that he steps down.

Meanwhile, the international community must do all in its power to end this terrible trend of violence in Libya and other parts of the Middle East.

We must work hard to make sure that the use of violence, whether by individuals, groups or the state, has no place in any civilized society.

Scenes of the kind being witnessed in Libya and elsewhere must become a thing of the past.

However, in Africa in particular, this will only come about when all African Union member states “sign and ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance” adopted by the African Union in 2007.

“I know when you are out of form, you go after the ball, but this is just ridiculous”.

Nasser Hussain