MELISSA BLOCK, host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Ethiopia today trying to resolve issues in two African nations that have bedeviled much of the continent. She urged African countries to break with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and pressure him to stop attacking civilians. And she called on the north and south of Sudan to quickly resolve their differences as the south prepares to become the world's newest country. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
MICHELE KELEMEN: Clinton was the first secretary of state to visit the African Union headquarters and she came with a message that regional leaders should learn something from the Arab uprisings.
Secretary HILLARY CLINTON (Department of State): If you believe that the freedoms and opportunities that we speak about as universal should not be shared by your own people - men and women equally - or if you do not desire to help your own people work and live with dignity, you are on the wrong side of history and time will prove that.
KELEMEN: Diplomats did clap and laugh at a few moments when the lights when out and Clinton kept going, and when she pointed out that there are still too many leaders in Africa who think democracy means one election, one time. But they were fairly silent when she appealed to them to break with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Ms. CLINTON: I urge all African states to call for a genuine ceasefire and to call for Gadhafi to step aside. I also urge you to suspend the operations of Gadhafi's embassies in your countries, to expel pro-Gadhafi diplomats and to increase contact and support for the transitional national council.
KELEMEN: That's the rebel government trying to oust Gadhafi. As Clinton herself pointed out, there are strong disagreements over how to deal with Gadhafi, who over the years has bankrolled the African Union and supported many member countries, even paying their AU and United Nations membership dues.
Ms. CLINTON: Your words and your actions could make the difference in bringing this situation to finally close.
KELEMEN: Her visit came as African leaders struggled to keep the peace between North and South Sudan. Here in the hotel lobby, Clinton met with the leader of South Sudan and separately with an advisor to Sudanese president Omar al Bashir. Bashir had left earlier in the day. And a volcano ash cloud near Ethiopia forced Clinton and her staff to cut short her diplomatic push as well.
Michele Kelemen, NPR News, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.