Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tutu Calls on Bush to Work with U.N. on Iraq; Nobel Winner Arrives to Teach Class at UNF

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tutu Calls on Bush to Work with U.N. on Iraq; Nobel Winner Arrives to Teach Class at UNF

Article excerpt

Byline: Beth Kormanik, Times-Union staff writer

Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu arrived in Jacksonville yesterday for his semester as a visiting scholar-in-residence at the University of North Florida, fresh after comments criticizing the U.S. government for a possible war against Iraq.

The South African archbishop called for "compassion and caring" and advised a strategy of international cooperation to deal with Iraq. He told a London television program Sunday he was "deeply saddened" by U.S. military plans that could lead to war and the British government's support of those plans.

"The United States should not seek to go it alone," he said yesterday. "One of the wonderful things about this country, it promoted respect for the rule of law, for international law."

President Bush should work with the United Nations to deal with Iraq, he said, because it is possible to avert a war with Iraq.

"Why not? Most people had virtually given up hope of South Africa's transition being anything but a blood bath," he said. "But it didn't happen."

Instead, the government of institutional racism converted to a democracy in a relatively peaceful transition. In 1994, voting rights were extended to all citizens regardless of race, the first open elections in half a century. Tutu was a leading spokesman for the rights of black South Africans during apartheid.

"It is precisely when things are seemingly hopeless you have to say to people, 'There is hope,' " he said.

Tutu's comments came after he and his wife, Leah, were greeted by university officials, religious leaders and Mayor John Delaney at a ceremony at Jacksonville International Airport.

UNF hosted Tutu once before, as part of the presidential lecture series in 1999, and interim President David Kline welcomed him back to campus.

"We look forward to discussions, your intellectual leadership and the insights of the day," Kline said. "Your voice is much needed. We're wonderfully proud you're going to be a colleague of ours."

Tutu will be paid $76,800 for the semester. UNF also has rented a home for the Tutus, and he will have a personal assistant and an office on campus. …

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