Zimbabwe 2002 and the same all over again in 2008
When are African leaders going to stand up and distance themselves from this dictator. A call for dialogue from the AU is just not enough. He is not a leader of any country, and should have been trown out of this meeting.?
2008. An African Union summit today tried to overcome divisions on how to deal with the re-election of President Robert Mugabe in a poll condemned around the world. The summit is unlikely to back a U.S. push at the United Nations for sanctions against Mugabe, including an arms embargo. African leaders, deeply reluctant to criticize each other publicly, have previously appeared over-awed by Mugabe's status as a hero of the anti-colonial struggle
Summit sources said the leaders were divided between those who wanted a strong statement about Zimbabwe and others who were reluctant to publicly censure the veteran leader, who extended his 28-year rule in a one-candidate election last Friday.
So far only Western powers have imposed financial and travel sanctions against the Zimbabwean leader and his top officials.
China, which has long opposed UN sanctions, said today that Zimbabwe must solve its own problems and showed no eagerness to endorse the U.S. moves.
2002 Presidential elections were held in March 2002. In the months leading up to the poll, ZANU-PF, with the support of the army, security services and especially the so-called 'war veterans'– very few of whom actually fought in the Second Chimurenga during the 1970s– set about wholesale intimidation and suppression of the MDC-led opposition. Despite strong international criticism, these measures, together with organized subversion of the electoral process, ensured a Mugabe victory. The government’s behavior drew strong criticism from the EU and the USA, which imposed limited sanctions against the leading members of the Mugabe regime. Since the 2002 election, Zimbabwe has suffered further economic difficulty and growing political chaos.
Observers from a Norwegian mission and the local Zimbabwean Election Support Network (ZESN) have also issued condemnations of the election, saying it was held in a climate of fear.
This verdict is not universal - observers from Nigeria and South Africa in effect endorsed the elections, while the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) team announced that "in general the elections were transparent, credible, free and fair."
And Namibia, which also had observers in Zimbabwe, described the poll as "watertight, without room for rigging".
"Despite some pre-election violence attributed to all sorts of political actives [sic], no one group has come out with specific instances of rigging," Namibia's deputy foreign minister and observer Tuliameni Kalomoh told the BBC.
Click on the title to hear Mugabe compared to Idi Amin
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