April 28, 2008

The Patriarch Strikes Back

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The crisis in Zimbabwe has only worsened since April 13, when I last posted a blog on the elections there. We can take a small consolation in that now the ZANU-PF and Robert Mugabe are laid out for what they really are, thugs, for the entire world to see. Violence against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change has been reported across the country, including the recent arrest of several hundred opposition members from the party’s headquarters. Morgan Tsvangirai has been forced to flee the country for his safety, while the official results of the presidential election have yet to be released!

This most recent raid comes days after dock workers in South Africa successfully turned back a Chinese arms shipment bound for Zimbabwe. Despite South African President Mbeki’s silence on the issue, the labor unions in the country took action to protect the Zimbabwean people from arms that would have likely been used against them. Despite small victories, the situation in the country continues to worsen. Though the total arms-embargo called for by the U.S. and EU is a good first step, the U.S. and Europe have little influence over Mugabe. Instead the responsibility lies with Zimbabwe’s neighbors and the African Union, who ultimately bear the responsibility for bringing an end to the crisis. For the sake of the Zimbabwean people and for regional stability, I hope a settlement can be made soon.