|Africa News Digest
British Defeated at Summit on Zimbabwe; Kenya-Style Crisis Next?
April 13 (EIRNS)The April 12 Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) summit that was called by SADC chair and Zambian President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa at the behest of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, did not give the Britishor the Zimbabwe opposition groups they are sponsoringwhat they wanted.
The summit communiqué did not state that there was an electoral impasse in Zimbabwe, in agreement with what had been stated before the summit by South African President Thabo Mbeki. The summit only called for the results of the March 29 election to be released expeditiously, and that the run-off election be held "in a secure environment."
Before leaving for the summit, Mbeki stated point blank that there was not a crisis in Zimbabwe, adding that what was going on there was a normal electoral procedure, and that it should be given time to go through. Mbeki stopped in Zimbabwe on his way to the summit, and had a warm meeting with President Robert Mugabe, who did not attend the summit. The summit, which was expected to last 2 hours, went for more than 12 hours, as the SADC members who wanted to do Britain's bidding, and come out of the summit with a communiqué asserting that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe, fought unsuccessfully for that formulation.
Zimbabwe opposition Presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai did hold discussions with the summit participants, and left hurriedly when the British did not get what they wanted, saying only: "We're finished here."
After returning from the summit, Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba said of the allegations by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC, Tsvangirai's organization) that Mugabe was trying to rig the outcome of recent elections: "It is not true." He added, "Neither the government, the ruling party or the opposition" had tampered with the outcome. Pohamba also said that "SADC heads of state had been satisfied with explanations provided about the arrest of several ZEC [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission] officials over allegations by Mugabe's Zanu-PF party that they had deliberately underestimated his tally."
While the summit was taking place, the ZEC announced that it would conduct a recount on April 19 of all ballots cast in the parliamentary, Presidential, and local elections in 23 constituencies22 demanded by the government, one singled out by the opposition MDC, for irregularities. The Zimbabwe government has charged that the MDC paid off people working as election officials, to inflate the figures of MDC candidate Tsvangirai. The MDC is against a recount, and Tsvangirai says he won't compete in a run-off election. He would lose, now that his corruption of election officials has been smoked out.
As a result of not getting SADC backing for a unity government, the British are intensifying their condemnation of Mugabe. Brown said that he and his reputed allies in the West "are running out of patience" with Mugabe. Brown-asset Tsvangirai is reportedly being counseled to seek asylum in a neighboring country, and not return to Zimbabwe, for reasons of personal safety, playing into British plans to produce a rerun of the Kenya post-electoral crisis, in Zimbabwe. The British are charging that the election results will be fraudulent, and that the "crisis" can only be resolved by British-instigated mediation to install a power-sharing government, which would be plagued by conflict and instability, as Kenya's has been since Kofi Annan's "mediation effort" there.
International Criminal Court Blocks Peace in Uganda
April 12 (EIRNS)The Ugandan government and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) both want to negotiate a settlement of their devastating and long-running war, but the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has indictments and arrest warrants out for LRA leaders, refuses to withdraw them. BBC today reports that Joseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army did not show up for the signing of a peace agreement with the government of Uganda, which would have ended the state of war between them. The chief negotiator for the LRA resigned.
The ICC is a recent addition to the institutions of Wellsian world dictatorship. Under the proposed peace agreement, the Ugandan government would ask that the ICC indictments and arrest warrants be dropped, and would itself try the accused. The ICC says the indictments and arrest warrants can only be dropped through an appeal process.