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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Zim Update 1.27.09

Deal or No Deal?

With the exception of Botswana, which continues to be a model for the rest of Southern African countries, the member countries of SADC continue have their noses firmly up the @$$ of Robert Mugabe.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) announced today (again without Botswana) that ZANU-PF and MDC had come to an agreement about forming a national unity government.

There's only one problem: they didn't bother to ask MDC if they agreed.

They don't.

It appears that SADC (minus Botswana) have just decided they are tired of dealing with this issue and so have decided to declare the impasse at an end, despite the fact that it is not. MDC currently has not accepted any deal and they will meet over the weekend to discuss the situation.

Some Good News (unsurprisingly involving President Obama)

According to the London Times, the Obama administration is preparing a diplomatic offensive to topple the Mugabe regime.

The plan is to take a set of "'strong' sanctions including a ban on arms sales and foreign investment." This has been tried before only to be blocked in the Security Council; however, the sanctions will be coupled with a diplomatic effort to convince China and Russia to not veto any anti-Mugabe resolutions.
"Last July, after Mr Mugabe was accused of rigging the elections to stay in power, China and Russia, who have significant financial interests in Zimbabwe, vetoed moves to impose UN sanctions. Mr Obama and his aides believe that, with the growing international outcry over conditions there and the devastating loss of life from the cholera outbreak, Beijing and Moscow can now be persuaded at the very least to abstain when the issue of sanctions comes to another vote."
Another positive note: newly confirmed US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, is a Zimbabwe expert and plans to work this issue.

The article also makes it clear that the Obama administration is hoping that MDC does not agree to any power-sharing deal at this point. They would rather the deal fail so that there is no ambiguity when they take the matter to the Security Council.

Cholera Epidemic

Continues unabated: 2,971 dead; 56,123 infected.

To help, please donate to Save the Children's Zimbabwe Children in Crisis Fund.

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