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Zimbabwean President Mugabe Says Western 'Vampires' in Libya for Oil

  • Thomas Chiripasi

President Mugabe said the UN Security Council resolution authorizing the creation of a no-fly zone and other measures to protect civilians, was being abused by Western nations intent on controlling Libyan resources

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe launched a scathing attack Monday on the Western countries that intervened militarily in Libya, castigating them as "vampires" who sought to kill Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi and control the country's oil.

Mr. Mugabe made his comments after a meeting with visiting Chinese Deputy Premier Wang Qishan, as correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported from Harare.

"There is no reneging on the [Security Council] resolution any more," Mr. Mugabe said. "It's there and it's a mistake we made. We should never have given the West, knowing their bloody vampires of the past, all this room to go for our people in Africa."

China abstained in the UN Security Council vote on the resolution authorizing the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya and other measures intended to protect the civilian population at risk as pro-Gadhafi forces closed in on rebel-held towns.

But South Africa voted for the resolution, infuriating some in the ruling African National Congress. Mr. Mugabe's statement might be seen as a tacit criticism of Pretoria.

"We don't agree with the form of government that was in Libya," he said. "Libya was nevertheless a member of the African Union and we looked forward to it transforming its own system in its own way, not in the way they desire, and now taking advantage of the fact that it has been given that support, to place itself in a position in which tomorrow it would be master of the resources of Libya, especially oil.

"And it is this oil, oil, oil which is the undoing of the Libyan people," Mr. Mugabe said.

Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party denounced the Western intervention in Libya, while the other main partner in Harare's national unity government, the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, hewed close to the position advanced by the African Union, urging an end to hostilities.

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