Kenya calls for Gaddafi to step down

26 August 2011 - 13:11 By Sapa-dpa

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga called for Muammar Gaddafi to officially relinquish power in Libya, becoming the latest African leader to take a stance against the long-time ruler.

Odinga statement was among the most critical to date, as the Kenyan premier said that Gaddafi's call for his loyalists to keep fighting was wrong, a newspaper reported on Friday.

"The war is over and Mr Gaddafi's side has lost. He should do the honourable thing now and let the people of Libya go. You can only govern people with their consent," Odinga told the Nation daily paper.

Burkina Faso and Chad, two of Gaddafi's staunchest African allies, have formally recognised the Libyan rebels as the legitimate government. Egypt and other North African countries, following the lead of other Arab states, also switched their diplomatic ties to the National Transitional Council.

Odinga said the victory of the rebels was a "a triumph and a tragedy" for the African continent.

"It is a positive development because the people of Libya have secured their freedom. But it is tragic that this happened with the assistance of external force," said Odinga, in an often heard criticism in Africa of NATO's bombing campaign.

South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said this week the International Criminal Court in The Hague should probe possible human rights violations committed by NATO forces in Libya.