Monday, December 8, 2008

Within Africa: archive

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The Weekly Standard: Destination Malabo - A group of mercenaries' failed attempt to take over the worst place on earth," by Mark Hemingway

On March 7, 2004, Simon Mann and 67 South African mercenaries were arrested on board a Boeing 727 at an airport in Harare, Zimbabwe, en route to Equatorial Guinea. Mann was accused of trying to purchase a large shipment of weapons during their brief stopover in Zimbabwe. Already on board were hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of weapons and equipment, as well as $180,000 in cash. (...) So the question is now, what does Mann know? During his trial, "Mann implicated the governments of South Africa and former colonial power Spain, and implied Washington would also have looked favorably on a coup," according to Reuters. (...) As the full details of the coup continue to emerge, aspiring writers should pay close attention. There are no doubt a few good novels to be wrung out of the ongoing intrigue surrounding Simon Mann and His Adventures in the Worst Place on Earth. As Frederick Forsyth has already proved, you just can't make this stuff up. (...) >>>

Updated: 22nd Aug. 2008
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BBC: "France accused in Rwanda genocide "

Rwanda has accused France of playing an active role in the genocide of 1994, in which about 800,000 people were killed. An independent Rwandan commission said France was aware of preparations for the genocide and helped train the ethnic Hutu militia perpetrators. (...) It named 33 senior French military and political figures that it said should be prosecuted. (...) late former President, Francois Mitterrand, and the then Prime Minister Edouard Balladur (...) Alain Juppe, the foreign minister at the time, and his then chief aide, Dominique de Villepin.
(...) Earlier this year France's Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner denied French responsibility in connection with the genocide, but said political errors had been made. (...) >>>

Updated: 6th Aug. 2008
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The Insider: "The Jewel of Africa," by Doris Lessing (dated April 2003) - Hat Tip: Mensa Barbie
"You have the jewel of Africa in your hands," said President Samora Machel of Mozambique and President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania to Robert Mugabe, at the moment of independence, in 1980. "Now look after it." Twenty-three years later, the "jewel" is ruined, dishonoured, disgraced. Southern Rhodesia had fine and functioning railways, good roads; its towns were policed and clean. It could grow anything, tropical fruit like pineapples, mangoes, bananas, plantains, pawpaws, passion fruit, temperate fruits like apples, peaches, plums. The staple food, maize, grew like a weed and fed surrounding countries as well. Peanuts, sunflowers, cotton, the millets and small grains that used to be staple foods before maize, flourished. Minerals: gold, chromium, asbestos, platinum, and rich coalfields. The dammed Zambezi River (...) >>>

Updated: 28th July 2008
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CNN: "Sudan fury at possible genocide charge"

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir may be charged with genocide by the International Criminal Court. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has scheduled a news conference Monday, just after he is expected to filed the warrant with the court. The Sudanese ambassador to the United Nations told CNN said Friday that the ICC has indicated to Sudanese officials that al-Bashir may be charged over the five-year campaign of violence in the country's Darfur region. (...) >>>
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CNN: "Russia, China veto U.N. sanctions on Zimbabwe"

Russia and China vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution Friday that would have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe's longtime president, Robert Mugabe, and 11 senior members of his government. According to a draft of the resolution, the measure would have instituted a travel ban on Mugabe and others in his government, frozen many of their assets and imposed an international arms embargo on the regime. The measure received nine votes -- the minimum for it to pass. However, two of the five negative votes were from Russia and China, who as permanent members of the Security Council have veto power. One Security Council member abstained. The resolution was pushed by the United States after Mugabe ignored (...) >>>

Updated: 12th July 2008
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Financial Times: "Leaders fail to agree on Zimbabwe"

Leaders from the developed world and Africa failed on Monday to agree on how to deal with the crisis in Zimbabwe, which overshadowed a meeting between the Group of Eight and seven African heads of state. The African leaders resisted pressure from the US and Europe for sanctions against the Mugabe regime, telling the western nations that they still saw scope for African diplomacy to lead to a power-sharing accord. (...) >>>

Updated: 8th July 2008
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Pajama: "Mugabe: The Anti-Mandela," by The Coffee Addict

Who is Robert Mugabe and how did he come to hold sway over a country once known as the bread basket of Africa? (...) He first rose to prominence in the 1960s as the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). His stated aim was to replace white minority-rule with one-party Marxist regime. The liberation war ended in 1979 and Mugabe was hailed by most Africans as a hero. He won the general elections of 1980 and then became the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.

His policies have increasingly elicited domestic and international denunciation but none from my country of South Africa, his loyal neighbor. The South African government has remained so tight-lipped on the situation in Zimbabwe that rumors abound that he has information on the ANC that would embarrass the South African government, if it was ever made public. Perhaps this is an urban legend created in the absence of any real fact but the continued policy of “quiet diplomacy” has baffled everyone for years. (...) >>>

Updated: 30th June 2008
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... long overdue and voiced in the understatement of the century - why is it so hard to objectively condemn ALL sadistic dictatorships ...? Perhaps St Mandela could have added 'his moral voice' when it could still make a difference to the people of Zimbabwe ... imagine if we condemned the willful destruction wrecked by Nazism in terms of "a tragic failure" ... the champions of hypocricy and racism ...

Financial Times: "Mandela laments Mugabe’s ‘tragic failure’"

Zimbabwe’s neighbours increased diplomatic pressure on Robert Mugabe on Wednesday night as Nelson Mandela, the former South African president, broke years of silence to describe Zimbabwe’s crisis as a “tragic failure of leadership”. Mr Mandela chose what is potentially one of his last international appearances to add his moral voice to the mounting criticism across Africa of Mr Mugabe’s role in the collapse of what was once one of the continent’s most prosperous countries. (...) >>>

Updated: 26th June 2008
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Politeia: "Tsvangirai Fled to Dutch Safety"

Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has taken up refuge in the Dutch embassy in Hahare. The regime have assured the Dutch Government that the safety of Tsvangirai and the diplomatic staff is guaranteed. After having announced his pull-out out of Friday's runoff election Tsvangirai fled to the embassy on Sunday evening after having been threatened. (...) >>>

Updated: 23rd June 2008
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Front Page: "Mugabe's Anti-Christian Persecution," by Mark D. Tooley

Having recently replaced a predecessor who was a pro-Mugabe flunky, the new Anglican bishop of Harare is denouncing the geriatric dictator’s endless tyranny. “We, the Anglican Church of the Diocese of Harare (CPCA) are shocked and dismayed by the continuous Police interference with Sunday services and the increased brutality causing casualties,” Bishop Sebastian Bakare recently wrote. “Many of our Parishioners were assaulted and beaten, several of our parishioners of St Monica's Church in Chitungwiza were brutally assaulted and had to be admitted to hospital.” (...) >>>


Updated: 19th June 2008
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Times Online: "Robert Mugabe's thugs turn to burning people alive"

For a wad of worthless Zimbabwean banknotes President Mugabe’s militias burnt six-year-old Nyasha Mashoko to death. The target of the Zanu (PF) thugs had been the boy’s father, Brian Mamhova. They came for him on Friday night — three truckloads of them, plus a Mercedes Benz from which alighted three armed men in suits (...) The terror tactic of burning people alive has been little used by Zanu (PF) in recent years but seems to be being revived. Last Wednesday, in the village of Jerera in Zaka district in the southeast of the country, a group of gunmen described as (...) >>>

Updated: 10th June 2008
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NYT: "Lost Letter Raises Questions About Mbeki’s Role in Zimbabwe"

The curious case of the mysterious letter from Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, to South Africa’s president, Thabo Mbeki, got a new chapter this weekend that raised yet more questions about Mr. Mbeki’s credibility as the regional mediator in Zimbabwe’s increasingly tumultuous political crisis (...) Another persistent question is why Mr. Mbeki has stuck to his “quiet diplomacy” with Mr. Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s economy has sunk ever deeper into ruin and sent millions of despairing Zimbabweans pouring into South Africa. (...) >>>

Updated: 9th June 2008
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Times Online: "Zimbabwean migrants who sought new life limp back into Robert Mugabe's arms"

They fled economic meltdown and repression under Robert Mugabe’s brutal regime. But yesterday, under the cover of darkness, the first mass repatriation of Zimbabweans in South Africa began. A convoy of buses left in silence, taking home 700 victims of the xenophobic attacks that have engulfed South Africa’s poor townships. There was little hope or (...) >>>

Updated: June 2, 2008
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Pajamas Media: "South Africa’s President Mbeki: Too Little, Too Late," by The Coffee Addict

It is clear to South Africans that their president Thabo Mbeki has utterly failed in his handling of the bloody anti-immigrant violence plaguing their country. (...) it would appear from today’s headlines that Thabo Mbeki will be sending the troops back into the townships, beatings, stabbings, burnings, necklacings, rumours of a ‘third force’ and plenty of intimidation is back. People live in fear, distrust authority and find themselves once again divided. Over the days of the recent crisis of violence against immigrant refugees from Zimbabwe, we South Africans waited and waited and waited desperately for a strong leader: in fact, for any leader. There is a great scene in the movie The American President when the political advisor played by Michael J. Fox tells the president, played by Michael Douglas that the people want leadership… and “in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone.” (...) >>>

(let me offer a variation on the theme of the vacuum: the same is said about the absence of organized religion ... people don't stop believing, they'll just believe anything ...)

Updated: June 2, 2008
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Related:

- "Capitalism"
- "The Natural Resources Pile"
- "The Perversion of Development Aid"

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