Saturday, December 6, 2008

Zimbabwe: Too little, too late.

On Thursday, one of the world's most respected moral authorities, Bishop Desmond Tutu at last, at long, long last said what has been needed to be said for many many years: "Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe must resign or be sent to The Hague for the "gross violations" he has committed..."

Well done, Des, you're the man!

Now to be fair, Bishop Desmond Tutu has spoken out against Mugabe before, but his words were tempered with the hopeless, 100%-ineffectual-in-Africa, "diplomacy". Diplomacy has no place in a continent where, with a few exceptions, brutality seems to be first law.

On this occasion, he was blunt and to the point. And very quickly, the voice of the other (more self-appointed) moral authority, the United States, chimed in (jumped on the band wagon?) via the vocal chords of Ms Condileezza Rice who said, "it is "well past time" for Mr Mugabe to go, saying a "sham election" has been followed by a "sham process of power-sharing talks".


Saint Desmond and the Angel Condi need to learn that whilst we now appreciate their words of condemnation for Mugabe, they should have been said many years ago.

Africa's gravestone should bear those words: "Too little, Too Late". For that is how it has always been.

The Developed world has a duty to protect the citizens of Africa. They should be protected from both the developed world and the highly exploitative 'emerging' world - that's you, China. Most of all though, Africa needs to be protected from Africans.

This vast continent of 934,283,426 people living in 54 states has known nothing but exploitation either as victims of the rest of the world or by their own leaders whose promise was always to deliver them from evil.

From north to south, Afrca has seen a continual sequence of civil wars, military coups, uprisings, genocides, disease and brutality. The whole world sees Africa as a mineral free-for-all, robbing the continent of wealth in collusion with its leaders. Disease, unrest and turmoil are the tools of the exploiters. The meagre income from the exploitation funds yet more violence as arms dealing scum wrest cash from the hands of the regimes. (Stop violence, shoot an arms dealer?)

And when the people of Africa say, "enough!" all it gets is useless, hopeless, pointless "diplomacy". Stillborn UN resolutions and verbose, but toothless statements of condemnation from the EU and other 'blocs'. Late, as ever.

Use Force!

Britain, the EU and the United States along with all other G20 countries have the power - more than eough power - to force sanity back into Africa. Yes, I said it: FORCE sanity back into Africa. Force accountability into its leadership. Punish the punishable! The Hague would be the busiest place in the world!

Darfur, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone... all are cases of completely avoidable crises. That they eventually resolve themselves is not thanks to anyone; that they were allowed to escalate to what they became, is down to those who say they know better but who refused to act, preferring the band-aid of diplomacy.

Diplomacy is just talk. Africa needs action. Immediate, authorative action the minute a crisis looks likely.

If the developed world forces sanity back into Africa the right way, they can give the continent a genuine rebirth, a genuine rennaisance. They can convert a market of a billion penniless people into one that has enormous wealth from exports and more importantly, cash to spend on imports. From the developed world! Everyone will win.

And now, some reading for you:

This woman deserves a Pulitzer Prize for saying it how it is. She is in my view, the best writer on the Zimbabwean situation. If you want to understand what it is like in Zimbabwe, subscribe to her website and spread her words.

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