Magazine article New African

Holbrooke Told off. (around Africa - Africa)

Magazine article New African

Holbrooke Told off. (around Africa - Africa)

Article excerpt

The 114-member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the single largest political group at the United Nations, has hit back at the former US ambassador to the UN, Richard Holbrooke, who urged African nations to break away from the group.

South Africa, NAM's current chairman, says Holbrooke's proposal is "an insult" to the entire membership of the Movement.

"This attempt by a non-NAM member to prescribe to the African members of the Movement is at best uninformed, or at worst misguided, misleading and constitutes an affront to the NAM members as a whole," says Dumisani Shadrack Kumalo, South Africa's ambassador to the UN.

In his recent farewell address to the African group at the UN, Holbrooke asked African countries to "reconsider their association with the Non-Aligned Movement. I have not seen a single issue in which NAM positions actually benefited the African group," he said, to the utter annoyance of the Africans assembled there.

Holbrooke continued: "African countries should consider distancing themselves from NAM...so that you can protect African interests and not allow yourself to be pushed by less than 10 radicalised states into positions that you don't need."

Although he is no longer the US ambassador to the UN, the US Mission at the UN yet circulated Holbrooke's speech as an official document to the General Assembly. This "can only be seen," says the South African ambassador, Kumalo, "as an attempt to question the legitimacy of NAM. …

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