Saturday, June 04, 2005

Democide in Zimbabwe

Strategy page, which is pretty accurate at assessing wars, has a long post on the "democide" in is not "genocide" but "democide", i.e. mass killing of civilians by a government...

The black markets have been a major source of food and other goods for the urban population. Without the black markets, the urban population will be totally dependent on the government for food. In the countryside, where the government still has some support (because of the distribution of land taken from white farmers), people can grow enough to feed themselves, but not the third of the 12 million population that lives in urban areas. Nearly all the farmers use primitive techniques, and live from harvest to harvest. One bad year, and starvation becomes a major factor. There is much disease, and the average life expectancy is 37 years.

There hasn’t been any revolution so far because the potential rebels cannot get guns. No one is willing to arm the dissatisfied majority, and over two thirds of the population lives in poverty. The ruling party is corrupt, and hands out what wealth is available only to those that actively support it. There are no large deposits of items like diamonds or gold, that are readily converted into cash. It was that kind of money that fueled the civil wars farther north, in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Religion is not a factor either, with less than one percent of the population being Moslem. Further north, irate Moslem populations have been armed by wealthier Arab nations.

The government seems determined to starve its enemies to death, secure in the knowledge that the victims are unarmed, and the government forces have lots of guns. It’s even difficult for the rest of the world to find out what’s going on, as foreign reporters were expelled years ago, and the local press is under strict government control. This story will only get reported after the dead are buried.

HMMM>>>>Charlton Heston call your office

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