SYRTE, Libya - Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi has called for a pan-African army to replace national militaries in order to protect the troubled continent from foreign attack and solve internal wars.
A "single African army" would help solve inter-African conflicts and divert billions of dollars to development projects, Kadhafi told African defence ministers Sunday in Syrte, 500 kilometres (310 miles) east of Tripoli.
"The creation of an African army means dissolving national armies and saving large amounts of money spent on such militaries," Kadhafi told the opening of the ministers' second conference.
Africa spends around 13 billion dollars each year on its standing armies of 1.25 million soldiers, he added.
A million-strong united army would save countries 50 percent of their annual defence budgets or seven billion dollars, which could be spent on health and development, Kadhafi said.