Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said Thursday that Libya‘s Moamer Kadhafi had naively tried to make friends with the West, which later supported the rebellion against him.
“He proceeded in a quite naive way investing in America, investing big monies in Europe and thinking that he was making friends with them,” Mugabe told more than 3,000 ZANU-PF supporters at a party conference in Zimbabwe‘s second city Bulawayo.
“NATO, that is Europe and America, killed Libyan civilians onstensibly to protect them,” he said.
“Today we have a broken people, broken lives. We have to take notice and take a stance as a continental people of Africa,” the 87-year-old said.
After decades of isolation, Kadhafi took strides in recent years to improve ties with West, notably meeting in 2003 with former British prime minister Tony Blair — an arch enemy of Mugabe.
Kadhafi was killed in October after being captured in Libya by forces loyal to the National Transitional Council (NTC), with NATO air support.
Mugabe, who had long-standing ties with the toppled strongman, said Zimbabwe never really benefited from Libyan investment.
“What he (Kadhafi) said he was going to do to strengthen relations was to send us some camels. So he gave some African countries some camels a year before he died.
“We got four camels which are at the farm but no real investment in Zimbabwe.”
Zimbabwe expelled Libya’s ambassador after he recognised the NTC as Libya’s new rulers in early September.
The former ambassador had pulled down and burnt the green flag of Kadhafi’s toppled regime, saying he was following the wishes of the Libyan people by backing the NTC.
Mugabe has previously accused NATO of backing the NTC in order to tap the country’s oil resources.