Mandela urges US to step back on Iraq

Johannesburg- South Africa (PANA) -- Former South African President, Nelson Mandela, has called on the US to stop its war plans against Iraq, after Baghdad has said it would allow UN weapons inspectors back into the country without conditions.
"They (US) must give Iraq a chance," Mandela said at a press briefing Tuesday.
He said Iraq's decision to allow the inspectors in had to be taken into account and a decision on further action should be left to the UN.
Mandela said it was wrong for President George W Bush to dismiss Baghdad's move as a ploy to delay anticipated US-led military attack aimed at changing the Iraqi regime.
"This is why I criticise other world leaders who are keeping quiet and allowing one nation to bully everyone else," said Mandela, who insists that only the UN has the right to intervene in the affairs of Iraq.
He said the US would be over-stepping its bounds if it carried out a military attack to force a change of regime in Iraq, especially if it did so without the mandate of the UN.
But Mandela's appears to be the lone African voice against the possible attack, with many African leaders mute apparently to avoid the wrath of the US, which often punishes so-called "rogue nations".

17 september 2002 19:25:00

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