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Mandela: Overthrow Corrupt Leaders

May 6, 2000

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Former president and Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela urged citizens Saturday to take up arms and overthrow corrupt leaders who have accumulated vast personal fortunes while children went hungry.

Mandela declined to name the culprits, saying: ``Everybody here knows who I am talking (about). The situation exists in many parts of the world, especially Africa. If you don’t know who I am talking about, there is no point in me telling you.″

He urged the public to pick up ``rifles to defeat the tyrants.″

Mandela said often these leaders had liberated their countries, but then after rubbing shoulders with the rich and powerful wanted to become like that themselves.

He was speaking at the launch of a new UNICEF initiative aimed at bringing about a better life for the world’s millions of deprived children. He and his wife, Graca Machel, pledged to personally lobby other leaders for specific commitments to the program.

Machel, who investigated the impact of armed conflict on children for the United Nations, said 300,000 children worldwide were involved in some form of armed conflict.

``Each year between 8,000 and 10,000 children are maimed or killed by anti-personnel mines,″ she said. ``In fact, the true extent of the deaths and physical, psychological and emotional damage to children in armed conflict can never be quantified.″

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