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DHUMISANI KARAKADZAI - POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT

Does UN Security Council Resolution 1973 apply to Mugabe and ZANU (PF)?

 The Security Council agreed to a resolution permitting the use of all necessary measures, including the imposition of a no-fly zone, to prevent further attacks and the loss of innocent lives in Libya, where the regime of Gaddafi had conducted a military offensive against citizens seeking his removal from power. The Council opened the door to a wave of attacks by warplanes from the United States, France and Britain against Libyan government targets under the pretext of protecting the civilian population. Security Council resolution 1973 was approved by Britain, United States, France, Colombia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal, Gabon, South Africa and Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Russia, China, Brazil, India and Germany abstained. – BY DHUMISANI KARAKADZAI

No fly zone sounds harmless like ‘no parking’ or ‘no entry’. But it means something more menacing; the prohibition, backed by force, of any movement in the air and even on the ground of forces deemed to be intent on attacking civilians in Libya. Of course it is an interference but one judged to be justified. Sarkozy, Cameron and Obama had to give reasons to justify their attacks on Libya. The French president even evoking a heroic resonance; France will not fail in her duty.

But it is a failure: a failure to act long before the situation became so desperate. Whatever happens now will cause loss of life to the very people the UN resolution 1973 was aimed to protect.  It exposes the inability of the UN and the ‘great powers’ to act to prevent the suffering and loss of life in, for example, Cambodia in the 1970s, Rwanda in the 1990s and now in Libya. In my opinion it’s now very urgent for the UN and the Western countries to force Robert Mugabe and ZANU (PF) out before the situation gets any worse in Zimbabwe.

UN Resolution 1973 demands the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of civilians. This demand in particular specifically identifies violence and attacks against all civilians. Where was the Security Council when Mugabe and ZANU (PF) attacked and killed innocent civilians in the 2008 elections? Where was the Security Council in 2000 when Mugabe and ZANU (PF) and the armed forces expanded their attacks on MDC supporters, defenceless villagers, women, white farmers and miners? The list could go on.

Were these not the acts of a brutal dictator against and abuse of civilians that also demanded intervention? I therefore find it amazing that MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa was quoted recently on VOA saying that the Zimbabwean people are in solidarity with the people of Libya. Maybe he was being ambiguous in his statement because here are people who have lived for 40 years under a dictator and are now “fighting for their independence”. 

What makes their fight any more illegitimate than Zimbabweans demand for freedom from Mugabe and his oppressors? This is the very thing that Tsvangirai has travelled the world, pleading for assistance from the West to help establish democracy and reduce the stranglehold that Mugabe has had. Does Nelson Chamisa not see that the reasons that the UN had for approving this resolution are exactly the same as the demands that the MDC made since 1999?

I find it even more amazing that despite calls by the MDC to South Africa to help in changing Mugabe’s attitude nothing was done but when the Libya situation aroused South Africa voted in favour of UN Resolution 1973. What is the difference between Gaddafi & Mugabe that South Africa will vote with the Western countries in this instance but would refuse, over the last decade, to permit any debate over Zimbabwe? 

Mugabe has consistently shown his lack of respect for human rights and the cries of his civilians, and has instead used brute force to ensure that he stays in control. What about African Solidarity, South Africa?

Former Prime Minister of Australia and now Australia’s Foreign Minister was recently quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald that “this is a necessary and moral course of action against an individual who is a brutal bloody dictator” Does this description not fit Mugabe? Zimbabwe needs more support from the West and UN more than Libya. We need to get rid of our brutal bloody dictator before the situation gets any worse

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