|Africa News Digest
Will London Sabotage Zimbabwe Unity Government?
Feb. 11 (EIRNS)Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Zimbabwe opposition party MDC-T, was sworn in as Zimbabwe's Prime Minister today by President Robert Mugabe. After the swearing in, Mugabe said he would "offer my hand of friendship and cooperation and solidarity in the service of our great country Zimbabwe."
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who worked out the unity government deal, attended the ceremony. Arthur Mutambara, leader of an opposition party (referred to as MDC-M) which split from Tsvangirai's party, was sworn in as one of two deputy prime ministers.
Tsvangirai will focus his efforts on rebuilding the economy, which has been destroyed by IMF-dictated economic warfare which began in the early 1990s, and was escalated later that decade after Zimbabwe rejected the failed IMF approach. In retaliation, the IMF forbade nations and businesses from conducting trade and economic relations with Zimbabwe.
The lack of a government which included members of the opposition, had been the pretext for continuing the economic warfare, which has led to intense suffering among Zimbabwe's people. Now it remains to be seen how the London financial cartel, which opposed the idea of a unity government, will try to wreck the agreement.
Tsvangirai has indicated he will seek aid to curb the outbreak of cholera, and deliver food aid. He has pledged to pay health workers, teachers, military and police personnel, and civil service professionals in foreign currency, probably the South African rand, an idea which South African President Motlanthe said he was open to, as a way of helping the recovery process.
State Department spokesman Robert Wood welcomed the unity government, but stopped short of pledging full support: "We will reserve our judgment on the new government until we see what types of actions it takes."
Negotiations Underway on Darfur Issue in Sudan
Feb. 12, 2009 (EIRNS)Provocations regarding the rumored International Criminal Court's issuing an arrest warrant against President Omar Al-Bashir continue to flood the international media.
While the ICC, which is backed by self-confessed Nazi George Soros and British senior diplomat Lord Mark Malloch-Brown (Soros's business partner), has denied that it has already issued the arrest warrant against Al-Bashir, it has not denied that it is in the process of issuing the warrant. It stated today that "The Pre-Trial Chambers decision will be made public by the normal way of a press release and publication on the Court's website."
Indications are that the Obama Administration is considering a shift in the previous U.S. policy regarding Sudan. U.S. Chargé d'Affaires in Sudan, Alberto Fernandez, met with Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Sammani Al-Wasila, last week, in which meeting Fernandez reportedly denounced the rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in Darfur for using violence and destabilizing the security and stability of the region. Fernandez also stated that the Obama Administration would appoint a special envoy to Sudan to mediate in the peace process in Darfur.
A representative of the Sudanese government and the most heavily armed rebel group in Darfur, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), began discussions Feb. 10 in Doha, Qatar. Mediators have emphasized that the Doha talks are preliminary, and are intended to lay the groundwork for an eventual broader peace conference on Darfur. The negotiations are related to a two step-process whereby, first a ceasefire is declared, and second, a peace process will be initiated to outline the totality of the problem in Darfur, to provide a means of reaching a common understanding on the conflict, building confidence and power-sharing, and reasserting the Sudanese government's territorial sovereignty in that region.
The road to a peace process is bumpy, because the JEM and other rebel factions are directed by foreign interests, as LaRouche explained in his webcast. Other rebel factions that are not in this negotiation process can create enormous difficulties for both the government and those rebel factions that are more open to negotiations. (See Indepth for fuller coverage.)
CFR's Gerson Pushes Bashir Arrest Warrant
Feb. 14 (EIRNS)Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Michael Gerson, in a Washington Post op-ed yesterday, entitled, "Time To Waltz with Sudan's al-Bashir," provided a twisted rationale for the arrest warrant for Sudan's President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, rumored to be issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) later this month.
Gerson states that he was previously skeptical of the usefulness of ICC indictments in situations such as Sudan, because they leave the indicted person no room to maneuver. "But I have changed my mind in the case of Bashir." he wrote. "The traditional carrots and sticks of diplomacy have failed.... The ICC warrant provides an opportunity to change the rules, holding Bashir personally responsible for achieving massive improvements, or personally responsible for committing massive crimes."
Gerson makes no mention of the threat that would be posed to the fragile Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that holds Sudan's North and South together, if the warrant against Bashir is issued. Bashir had gone against opponents of the CPA in his own party, some of whom, in retaliation, played a significant role in organizing the Darfur rebellion.
Gerson's article calls for using the ICC arrest warrant to make Bashir an international pariah. In testimony to a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held by Sen. John Kerry Feb. 12, Gerson opined that the pressure of international isolation will induce Sudan's collective leadership and military to replace Bashir as President.