Clinton: African leaders must heed Arab revolts

By MATTHEW LEE | June 13, 2011 | 10:30 AM EDT

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waves as she arrives and meets African Union Commission Chairperson Jean Ping, right, at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, June 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, POOL)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is warning African leaders that unless they enact broad social, economic and political reforms, they will face the same kind of revolts now sweeping the Arab world.

In a speech Monday to diplomats at the African Union headquarters in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, Clinton said that the repressive governance is no longer accepted in the world. She said discontent, mainly among exploding youth populations, cannot be suppressed in the era of the Internet and social media.

Clinton said the status quo has been broken and that governments must treat their people with dignity, respect their rights and deliver economic opportunity. She said unprecedented uprisings in the Arab world were sign that African leaders ignore their citizens' demands at their own peril.