Thousands of Zimbabwe refugees are pouring across the border into South Africa including thousands who may have cholera while those remaining in Zimbabwe are hungry, exhausted and inhabiting a nation whose once outstanding health service has collapsed with hospitals that lack medicine or even food for its patients. President Robert Mugabe is the one completely responsible for this situation but he remains in power while African nations stand idly by and insist they will not act to remove from power the former guerrilla leader who fought against colonialism.
The cases of cholera range from hundreds to possibly thousands, there is no money to pay doctors let alone to purchase medicine. Hundreds of thousands are starving and the health of children will be damaged for years unless they can obtain proper treatment. It is time for Africans to cease the endless complaints about “colonialism” and point the finger of blame right at one of their own–Robert Mugabe. The African Union should immediately make clear it is prepared to send troops into Zimbabwe unless Mugabe resigns and turns the government over to Morgan Tsvangirai who actually won the only election that was free. British colonists are not responsible for the horror of Zimbabwe, it is a 100% African made tragedy.
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change(MDC), entered the Dutch embassy in his country in order to prevent being murdered by the thugs who run the government of Zimbabwe. Even as he entered the protective custody of the Dutch, police raided MDC headquarters and took away over 60 people including men, women and children. The entire nation has been terrorized by gangsters unleashed under the orders of President Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party. Tsvangirai recognized continuing the run-off election would only result in further deaths of innocent people. “We are prepared, ” he said, ” to negotiate with Zanu-PF, but of course it is important for certain principle to be accepted before the negotiations take place. One of the preconditions is that the violence against the people must be stopped.”
Nations of Africa increasingly have lost patience with Mugabe, despite his past history as a fighter for freedom. Zambia president Levy Mwanawasa said the run-off must be halted to “avert a catastrophe in this region” and leaders of Angola, Swaziland, and Tanzania also expressed concern about the Mugabe violence. Helen Zille, leader of the Democratic Alliance in South Africa, blasted the Mugabe government as a threat to peace and sharply condemned failure on the part of President Mbeki of South Africa to take a stand. She urged cutting off diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe in order to send a message.
A delegation from the Southern African Development Community arrived in Haare for talks with Zimbabwe leaders about the importance of holding a democratic election. The Afri an Union has been under pressure from the UN and western nations to take the lead in helping Zimbabwe to have some form of democracy. Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who met with Gordon Tsvangirai, said the political crisis in Zimbabwe was an embarrassment to the entire African continent. “We are going to ask the African Union to be more proactive when dealing with this issue. The fact that elections can be held in an independent country and it takes more than a month for the results to be announced is sad. That is not really how you want to run a democracy. The rest of Africa is silent and that is not good for democracy.”
In the meantime, it appears the Chinese shipment of weapons that South African dockworkers refused to unload may have secretly been unloaded in Angola because the Zimbabwe government claims the weapons have arrived. Beatings and klling of those who supported opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai are still going on.
Hundreds of Chad rebels penetrated the capital of Chad as they fought against government forces. It is believed the fighting is raging just outside the presidential palace after the rebels made a lightening advance across the oil-producing African nation. Col. Thierry Burkhard, a French miiitary spokesperson, said about 1,500 rebels are now actualy in the capital. Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh, a leader of the opposition which is supporting the rebels, said the state radio has gone off the air, and “at the moment we are not hearing any firing. The rebels are in the city. Civilians are in the streets. They are watching what is happening.”
The fighting has led the European Union to delay dispatching its peacekeeping mission to both Chad and the neighboring Central African Republic. The EU forces were supposed to protect nations from the chaos caused by the Sudan government’s policies in Darfur which has led to insurgencies flowing out of Darfur into neighboring African nations. The new head of the African Union said Satrudy that the bloc would not recognize Chadian rebels should they seizee poweer. “If the rebellion succeeds cetainly we will excommunicte them from the African Union ntil normalcy and democratic institutions are restored in that country,” said Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete.
One can only support the African Union’s decision to protect democracy in Chad. But, it is confusing that no such stand has been taken against President Kibaki in Kenya who, literally, overthrew an election result through voting fraud and manipulation which has resulted in chaos in the country. Why does the AU have contradictory policies?
Libyan leader, Moamer Kadhafi, made it clear to members of the African Union he would turn his back on the black portion of Africa and redirect his money elsewhere– to Europe or to the Mediterranean area. The upcoming Addis Abba African Union summit “must mark a decisive step in the eastablishment of African unity” and “anyone who blocks the unity project is part of a conspiracy to sell Africa to the highest bidder.” Kadhafi wants a federal African government among the continent’s 53 member nations. He believes the African Union commission is a dead letter “without any power and ought to be replaced by an executive cabinet.”
A key aspiration of Kadhafi is enabling the Arab portion of Africa to assume greater control over the African Union. Kadhfi noted the Arabn states have been deprived of assuming leadership of the AU “even though they represent two-thirds of the continent and contribue 60% of the African Union’s budget.” The Libyan leader charged “if this situation persists, it will be tantamount fo racism against Arabs.”
There is scant hope any form of federal government will be initiated for the African continent. At the southern tip of Africa lies a powerful and ever wealthier South Africa, towards the north lies Nigeria which will probably become the most populous nation on the continent and is divided between Muslims and Christians while to its east lies the military power of Ethiopia, another basically Christian nation with strong ties to the United States. None of these powerful nations will allow the Arab portion of the continent to assume leadership.