Prime Minister Gordon Brown made it clear he will not attend the upcoming European-African Summit meeting if Robert Mugabe is representing Zimbabwe. “We are not prepared to give any suggestion to anybody.. that we condone an abuse of human rights in his country, the poverty and deprivation of his people and his unacceptable behaviour as president.” An official from the African Union’s Peace and Security Committee said Zimbabwe is an African nation and the Union would not tolerate interference in its internal affairs. “We resort to interference only in extreme cases of violence of genocide.”
In South Africa’s fight to end apartheid, its leaders frequently urged boycotts of the South African government or banning South Africa from participating in many international sporting events and meetings. Fast forward fifteen years and now South Africa and other African nations who wanted boycotts to fight oppression are strangely quiet and inactive when Robert Mugabe is oppressing his people. Perhaps, the African Union does not consider an inflation rate of 25,000% and unemployment figures of up to 80% as constituting a “severe case,” but the people of Zimbabwe would beg to differ. Opposition leaders are brutalized, food is distributed to those who support the government while opponents are blocked from even basic necessities and at least 2,000,000 people have fled. Gordon Brown is doing what Nelson Mandela did fifteen years ago when Africans stood up for African human rights.