Sarkozy tells leaders to reform or face more North African-style unrest
On the sixth straight day of riots in Egypt, casualties since the start of the protests stood at over 125 dead and 2,000 injured, most of them civilians.
However, if on Saturday Sarkozy urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to push ahead with reforms, he was less direct in front of African leaders.
“France respects the sovereignty of states and the right to self-determination … but there are values that are universal … all political leaders have to take them on board,” he said, as the AU appointed Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema, a leader notorious for his brutal seizure of power, as its new chairman.
“In today’s world leaders can no longer rule as they did in the past. Either you just let this change catch up with you and you leave the door wide open for violence sooner or later. Or you anticipate it and take it in your stride and then it can be accomplished without violence,” he said.
“France wishes to see peaceful change,” the French president said.