I asked yesterday who would stand for the people of Zimbabwe against their murderous tyrant, Robert Mugabe, and argued that, ideally, the African nations themselves should take the lead. Today, those nations gave their answer: Zimbabwe can go to Hell.
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe presented himself before fellow African leaders Monday hours after claiming victory in a violent Zimbabwean election, confronting African critics who call his 28-year rule increasingly illegitimate.
Mugabe, 84, flew to the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to take his seat among heads of state at a summit of the 53-nation African Union.
His appearance poses one of the most divisive challenges in years for the African bloc. Several African leaders are urging their counterparts to reject the results of Friday’s Zimbabwean election and impose sanctions, send peacekeepers or compel Mugabe to enter a government with the country’s opposition.
"This is a moment of truth for regional leaders," Asha-Rosa Migiro, deputy secretary general of the United Nations, told the African heads of state at the summit’s opening. Migiro called Zimbabwe’s crisis "the single greatest challenge to regional stability in southern Africa."
Both England and France on Monday urged the African Union to take a tough line with Mugabe. In Beijing, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States would press the U.N. Security Council for action, but said the African Union should take the lead at its current meeting, wire services reported. The union was also prodded by a group of global "elder statesmen" that included retired South African archbishop Desmond Tutu and former U.N. secretarygeneral Kofi Annan.
Mugabe strolled into the summit hall without fanfare. Leaders of Egypt, Tanzania and Uganda walked alongside him.
So much for "international urgings." The situation in Zimbabwe isn’t even on the agenda at the conference, and his fellow
dictators presidents are reluctant to bring it up for fear of calling their own legitimacy into question. Most disappointing and indeed sickening of all is South Africa, which owes the end of apartheid to international pressure to end White minority rule.
Ed at Hot Air asks a good question: Since we’ve poured billions into aid for Africa, to the benefit of these now-silent "leaders," why on Earth should we continue to aid them when they refuse to take any responsibility for their own region? Better the money should to to organizations that bypass governments altogether so that more of the money actually reaches the people it’s meant to help, rather than line the pockets of corrupt, craven dictators.
LINKS: Indeed, his brother-leaders at the AU summit hailed Mugabe as a hero.