True to form, the collection of dysfunctional states on the African continent have turned toady for one of their own brutal dictators. South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki leads once again in running interference for Robert Mugabe, arguing against international sanctions for Zimbabwe while he remains in power. Mbeki and and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Wade warned the G-8 away from action:
Africa leaders have told the G8 group of nations meeting in Japan that they oppose sanctions being imposed on Zimbabwe following controversial polls.
“I said that sanctions… wouldn’t change the regime,” Senegal’s leader Abdoulaye Wade told AFP news agency.
South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki reportedly told G8 leaders that UN sanctions could lead to civil war.
Excuse me, but what exactly does Mbeki believe to have happened over the last few months — and years? Mugabe’s goons have murdered scores of opposition leaders, displaced thousands, and plotted to drive two million people out of their homes. Does that qualify as a civil war — or perhaps a genocide, at least a political one? Mugabe has declared war on his own people; Mbeki refuses to recognize it.
Tanzanian president and head of the African Union, Jakaya Kikwete, insisted that a power-sharing arrangement between Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai was the preferred solution. How exactly would that work? The militias and the military leadership of Zimbabwe would suddenly shift their allegiances to Tsvangirai after murdering his supporters? A power-sharing arrangement would be an invitation to assassinate Tsvangirai, because Mugabe wouldn’t share power at all. If Mugabe wanted to honestly share power, he wouldn’t have ordered the murder of his political opponents and the massive terror campaign against their supporters.
The answer from the G-8 should be short and to the point. If Africa insists on protecting Mugabe, then Africa has seen the last dime of aid from the West. Bono and Bob Geldof notwithstanding, the West does not need to prop up tyrannies and the toadies that act as their apologists. South Africa in particular should be ashamed of its role in assisting Mugabe with his oppression. Let them survive on normal trade and the consequences of their own political choices.