Saturday, June 21, 2008

South Africa Snubs U.S. Effort to Condemn Mad Bob

Your gubbermunt doing you proud. This is doing immense damage to South Africa’s reputation but does Mbeki and the ANC care? Of course not.

We’ve gone from the miracle nation to cronies of a vicious dictator. Remember that when you vote next year (and this time DO vote).

uber left-wing New York Times penned this article. As the archetypal anti-apartheidists one wonders what goes through their liberal consciences (if they have any) as they watch their pet child turn bad.

Oops, they must think, we did a booboo putting a terrorist organisation into power. Don’t expect liberals to lose sleep over such matters though. They live in a world far removed from reality.

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South Africa snubbed an American effort to present a unified front condemning the Zimbabwe government for fomenting pre-election violence, sending a low-level representative to a discussion on the issue Thursday led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her counterpart from Burkina Faso.

The foreign minister of Burkina Faso, Djibril Yipene Bassole, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice led a meeting at the United Nations on the violence in Zimbabwe before its elections.

Ms. Rice had called for the meeting with African nations and Security Council members on the sidelines of a ministerial session that unanimously passed a
n American-sponsored resolution to declare rape and sexual violence a weapon of war.

But after Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, South Africa’s minister of foreign affairs, delivered her speech, she remained in the Security Council chambers while various other ministers and ambassadors descended two stories to the 45-minute discussion on Zimbabwe. South Africa sent its deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, but diplomats in the meeting said he arrived late and did not speak.

Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, South Africa’s representative to the United Nations, noted that the foreign minister was here to discuss sexual violence and not Zimbabwe. “What slight?” he asked. “She got a letter from Secretary Rice saying come and join me at the meeting on sexual exploitation. That is what she did.”

After the Zimbabwe discussion, Ms. Rice said the participants wanted “to send a strong message that what is going on in Zimbabwe is simply unacceptable.”

Djibril Yipene Bassole, Burkina Faso’s foreign minister, said that African nations were concerned about both the violence leading up to the elections and the fallout. “Africa does not need such an image,” he said.

Diplomats in the meeting said the representatives of various African nations, including Tanzania, Morocco and Kenya, all voiced support for bringing increased pressure on Zimbabwe to allow fair elections to proceed in the June 27 run-off vote for president — though the Burkina Faso minister said it was premature to consider sanctions against Zimbabwe.

The criticism was echoed by other African officials on Thursday. Earlier in the day, a group of government ministers from southern Africa bluntly criticized President Robert Mugabe for the unchecked political violence in the country, saying there was “every sign” that next week’s presidential run-off election “will never be free nor fair.”

Zimbabwe’s neighbors, who rarely criticize Mr. Mugabe publicly, voiced their increasing impatience with his government just a day after President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, the regional mediator, met with Mr. Mugabe and the opposition standard-bearer, Morgan Tsvangirai, in the latest effort to ease tensions before the runoff.

The Tanzanian foreign minister, Bernard Membe, said at a news conference in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial hub, that he and his colleagues would urge their presidents to “do something urgently so that we can save Zimbabwe,” Reuters reported.

Mr. Membe’s statements were remarkable because of Tanzania’s long history of support for Mr. Mugabe in Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle. Tanzania is also the current chair of the African Union, the continent’s highest representative body.

The situation in Zimbabwe seems increasingly dire. Amnesty International reported Thursday that a dozen bodies of tortured civilians had been found, and that witnessed described soldiers threatening villagers with guns while instructing them to vote for Mr. Mugabe.

Beyond that, the opposition party said Thursday that four activists had been killed after being abducted near the capital, Harare, and that the homes of three opposition figures in the same area had been firebombed. The latest four fatalities, included in Amnesty International’s daily count for Thursday, bring to more than 70 the number of people killed since the first round of voting in March, according to the opposition.

Western diplomats here have been repeatedly frustrated by South Africa’s using its two-year seat on the Security Council to deflect and dilute attempts to criticize Zimbabwe, even wrestling to keep the issue off the agenda altogether, and often joined by some half-dozen allies including China, Indonesia and Russia.

Opponents of Security Council action sometimes question if the situation in Zimbabwe rises to the level of a threat to international peace and security, which defines the mandate of the Council, Western diplomats say.

But Liu Zhenmin, China’s deputy permanent representative, denied that his country opposed discussing Zimbabwe, while Ambassador R. M. Marty Natalegawa of Indonesia stressed that his country was not backing Mr. Mugabe’s government by opposing the idea.

The United States has met such reluctance to discussing the issue next week that it may take the rare step of forcing a vote just to get Zimbabwe on the agenda, one diplomat here said.

Security Council members are expected to hear from Haile Menkerios, an envoy dispatched by the secretary general to Zimbabwe, before considering any further steps.

1 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

However disgusting Mbeki's stance is towards the Zimbabwe issue he certainly is not such a despicable traitor like John Foster and Co. who stabbed Ian Smith in the back.

It is to be noted that under Smith Zimbabwe was a nett exporter of food and commercial products and despite huge terrorist effort was functioning a million times better fighting on 3 fronts as todays Zimbabwe in peacetime.