Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mugabe's international enablers

from the National post (canada)

So where are the Commonwealth, the UN and the AU? They have each essentially washed their hands of the crisis. They all claim to have ceded responsibility for breaking the Zimbabwean impasse to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), an emerging union of 14 nations in the region, patterned after the EU.

But the SADC is dominated by South Africa, and South African President Thabo Mbeki is an old chum of Mr. Mugabe's. It is no coincidence that the SADC last week appointed Mr. Mbeki to broker a deal between Mr. Mugabe and his opponents, nor that Mr. Mugabe has felt free to crack down on the opposition in the days since, arresting scores of MDC officials and accusing Mr. Tsvangirai of treason, an offence punishable by death in Zimbabwe.

By off-loading responsibility to Mr. Mbeki, the Commonwealth, UN and AU have, for all intents and purposes, given their blessing to Mr. Mugabe's electoral theft. Mr. Mbeki is too cozy with Mr. Mugabe to force his old anti-colonial warrior-in-arms to play fair, and the large international organizations knew this when they agreed to step aside for the SADC.

On Friday, in a bizarre speech filled with the sort of conspiracy theories that Mr. Mugabe is fond of peddling whenever his iron rule is jeopardized, the 84-year-old strongman claimed that under his opponents, Zimbabwe would "go back to white people, to the British."...

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