Re: Mugabe's shameful apologists: African Union, etc
- From: mithril@xxxxxxxxxxx (Grantland)
- Date: Tue, 09 Aug 2005 18:54:16 GMT
>Mugabe's shameful apologists
>By Nat Hentoff
>Published August 8, 2005
> Many more black citizens of Zimbabwe -- who have suffered for years
>under the dictatorial rule of Robert Mugabe -- are now without hope of
>liberation. On July 22, London's Daily Telegraph reported: "Armed riot
>police and youth militia of Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF Party are
>rounding up homeless people who have sought refuge in church
> They are among the more than 700,000 victims of Mr. Mugabe's
>"Operation Restore Order," that as the July 24 International Herald
>Tribune reports has bulldozed "shacks, workshops and market stalls
>across Zimbabwe's urban center." (Many of the now-homeless adults in
>such neighborhoods voted against Mr. Mugabe in the last
>government-rigged election.) Miloon Kothari, special rapporteur on
>adequate housing at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, told the June
>11 New York Times that suicides are rising as the desperate displaced
>people "just have nowhere to go."
> A stinging 200-page U.N. report by Kajumulo Tibaijuka, an expert in
>rural economics from Tanzania, emphasizes that the Mugabe government's
>"indifference to human suffering" has been caused by "a disastrous
>venture based on a set of colonial-era laws and policies that were
>[under white rule] used as a tool of segregation and social exclusion."
>(But strangely, she does not target Mr. Mugabe directly as the cause of
> Recently, on a liberal New York radio station, WBAI, I was
>describing how Mr. Mugabe has caused an unemployment rate of 70
>percent, ruinous inflation, the pervasive decline of Zimbabwe's once
>bountiful harvests and the savage punishment of dissenters inflicted by
>his merciless youth militia. A caller to the radio station identified
>himself as an American black pastor and a human-rights activist around
> He admonished me for not giving Mr. Mugabe credit for rescuing
>Zimbabwe from having been "a white-ruled plantation." I told him the
>country still is a plantation -- ruled by a black master.
> Also scandalous in these crimes against the people of Zimbabwe is
>the silence of the African Union, formed five years ago to prove that
>the continent can take care of its own problems and protect economic,
>political and human rights.
> A July 7 front-page story in the Financial Times began: "Kofi Annan
>yesterday urged African leaders to break their silence over actions by
>governments, such as Zimbabwe's, that were undermining the continent's
>credibility in the eyes of the world." The U.N. secretary-general
>emphasized: "What is lacking on the continent is [a willingness] to
>comment on wrong policies in a neighboring country." But in the same
>article, Olusegun Obasanjo, president of Nigeria and presently the
>chairman of the African Union, defiantly said he would "not be a part"
>of any public condemnation of Mr. Mugabe.
> Moreover, as The New York Times reported on July 6: "Tanzania,
>Namibia and Zambia are among those [African nations] that have praised
>Mr. Mugabe's economic policies in recent months," or even more
>appallingly, "have stopped protesters from criticizing them." Also
>insistently silent on the rampant ferocity of the Mugabe regime is
>Thabo Mbeki, president of South Africa, who has long claimed he is
>pursuing "quiet diplomacy" in his dealings with Mr. Mugabe.
> His "diplomacy" is so quiet that its alleged results have not
>reached these black citizens in Harare described in the June 11 issue
>of The Economist, after the government obliterated their neighborhood:
>"A barefoot widow and her two children stand in the ruins of their
>shack, their meager belongings gathered under plastic sheets... they
>now sleep in the open with nothing to protect them from Harare's bitter
>cold. With tears in her eyes and a broken voice, she shows a lease and
>receipts for rents she has paid. "I have nowhere to go," she laments."
>(Mr. Mugabe says the demolitions have ended, but the government has
>said that before. In any case, he is again responsible for ruthless
>crimes against his own people.)
> They have also been abandoned by the justly venerated Nelson
>Mandela, who has marred his autumnal years by refusing to say a word in
>criticism of Mr. Mugabe. I asked an African, a longtime human-rights
>worker concerning the continent, why Mr. Mandela will not speak, when
>his condemnation of this horrifying injustice would, should he offer
>it, reverberate around the world.
> The human-rights worker replied that Mr. Mandela still sees Mr.
>Mugabe "as a liberator of his nation in the long, bitter struggle on
>the continent in which so many, including Mandela, suffered so much. He
>will not condemn this man." Jean-Claude Shanda Tonme of Cameroon, a
>consultant on international law, wrote in the July 15 New York Times:
>"What is at issue is an Africa where dictators kill, steal and usurp
>power yet are treated like heroes at meetings of the African Union."
> What will debt relief for (some of) these rulers do for the widow
>and her two children in Harare who have no place to go? Their condition
>cannot be reported in Zimbabwe's two largest, independent and
>best-selling newspapers, the Daily News and the Sunday Daily News. Now
>silent, their licenses to publish remain denied by Mr. Mugabe.
> Once again, the African Union, like the United Nations, has been
Bwahahahahahahahahaha!! Better than the circus when the acrobat falls
- Mugabe's shameful apologists: African Union, etc
- From: yared22311
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