Mugabe’s most excellent meeting
SIMON MAINA/AFP The regional meeting in Tanzania that might have put real pressure on Robert Mugabe appears to have instead let him off the hook: Zimbabwe’s neighbours fell in behind the brutal regime of Robert Mugabe yesterday and demanded that the West lift all sanctions on his country. With opposition growing at home and a ...
Zimbabwe’s neighbours fell in behind the brutal regime of Robert Mugabe yesterday and demanded that the West lift all sanctions on his country. With opposition growing at home and a crumbling economy, pressure was mounting on the heads of surrounding states to urge their friend and comrade to reconsider his position. But in a communiqué issued at the end of what was billed as a make-or-break summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), 14 leaders reaffirmed their solidarity with the veteran President of Zimbabwe.
Thabo Mbeki, he of the “quiet diplomacy” school, has been tapped to mediate talks between Mugabe and the opposition leaders he’s been brutalizing, and it’s just been reported that Mugabe released a leading opposition figure from custody.
We don’t know what went on behind the scenes in Tanzania, and I suppose it’s possible Mugabe got lectured about his disastrous economic policies and rancid human rights record. But the public pat on the back can only deflate those fighting to end his misrule.
David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist
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