Kadhafi Supports Trans-Saharan Railway Project

ZINDER- Niger (PANA) -- Libyan leader, Col.
Moammar Kadhafi, has reiterated the importance of the proposed Trans-Saharan railway line, saying it would facilitate the movement of peoples and goods between countries bordering the Sahara desert.
Addressing thousands of people gathered Sunday at the square of Zinder, 900 km East of Niamey, Kadhafi appealed for the transformation of the Sahara into a bridge between the peoples and countries who share the Sahara desert.
"We need to catch up on the time wasted and reduce the distances separating us,", Kadhafi said to the people of Niger on the second day of his visit in the country.
The Libyan leader stressed the need for Sahelians to develop their countries, practice good governance and rationally exploit resources available to them.
He also insisted on the need to turn the Sahel into a "green paradise.
" Kadhafi later condemned colonialism, which, he said, imposed borders, national identity cards and under-development (on African peoples).
The colonial forces wanted to "complicate" or render "impossible" communications between our ethnic groups that belong to the same nation, Kadhafi noted.
"Unfortunately, we have espoused the logic of the fetters inherited from colonial domination," he observed.
What have we done since the days of independence?" Kadhafi asked.
He lamented that African states have been unable to exploit their resources for the welfare of their peoples in spite of substantial water reserves, oil and gas deposits, forests, abundant rainfall and fertile lands, other mineral resources and seaports they have.
The condition for development remains for Africa the eradication of the legacies of colonialism, the unity and free movement of individuals and goods, he said.
On his way to the OAU summit scheduled next week in Lome, Kadhafi is touring a number of African countries of the Economic Community of Sahelian states.
"It is necessary to demonstrate that Sin-Sad (the community) is the core of African unity,", the Libyan leader said.
He stressed that Africans should be free to move all over the continent and live and work wherever they please "without any constraint.
" Niger President Mamadou Tanja met Kadhafi upon arrival Sunday evening in Zinder from Agadez, central Niger.
All along the 450-km of road separating the two cities including 300-km of desert area, Kadhafi's motorcade was greeted by huge gatherings of Niger citizens who lined up the route for over 15 km in some places.
The mayor of Zinder, Nayoussou Issia, emphasised the potential of agriculture in the area, but regretted that the district is facing a chronic shortage of farm inputs.
The population could easily achieve food self- sufficiency if they had access to modern farming technology, he told PANA in an interview.

03 july 2000 08:34:00

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