Throughout July Swaziland's King Mswati III – one of the world's last absolute monarchs – intensified his assault on independent media and opposition under the guise of combating terrorism. Using the prevention of terrorism act, King Mswati III has branded all opposition parties and labour unions terrorist groups, following a series of bombings of police offices and residences. Police raided the homes of leaders of the opposition, trade unions and civil society groups as part of King Mswati's counter-terrorism strategy. There are no known active domestic terrorist groups or issues likely to foment terrorism in Swaziland. Nor are international terrorists likely to harbour intent to target the country.… Seguir leyendo »
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Lifting sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party "would give Zimbabwe an opportunity to move forward", Jacob Zuma told reporters this week during his visit to Britain. South Africa's president is right. The continued EU sanctions are seriously weakening the hand of Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, in his efforts to implement a power-sharing deal in Zimbabwe.
This is because Zanu-PF's response to the EU sanctions has consisted of an unrelenting propaganda effort to cast Tsvangirai and the MDC as "sell outs" who campaigned for the imposition of unjustified sanctions that are "racist" and a violation of Zimbabwe's sovereignty.… Seguir leyendo »
Indications ahead of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Trinidad are that Zimbabwe will be offered readmission to the Commonwealth in 2011. In return for readmission Zimbabwe will be required to implement democratic and economic reforms. Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth in 2002 on the grounds that Robert Mugabe had been fraudulently re-elected in the country's presidential election. Zimbabwe quit the Commonwealth a year later, after the body refused to lift the country's suspension. The lifting of Zimbabwe's suspension had been supported by South Africa and some southern African countries, which favoured engagement over isolation of Zimbabwe. Mugabe's Zanu-PF government labelled the Commonwealth's decision racist.… Seguir leyendo »
At a summit last week, southern African leaders called on western states to "remove all forms of sanctions against Zimbabwe". They contend that Zimbabwe's power-sharing deal cannot be effectively implemented until sanctions are lifted. The EU and US say sanctions will not be lifted until the power-sharing agreement is appropriately observed.
Disagreement over the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe is not new. It goes back to 2002 when, at the request of Britain and some Zimbabwean civil society elements, the EU first imposed targeted sanctions on Robert Mugabe, Zanu-PF elites and companies associated with the Zanu-PF regime. African leaders' reaction to sanctions at the time was typified by Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa's remarks:
As you have heard about Zimbabwe and the EU's decision to impose sanctions, it seems they want to divide Africa at Brussels in 2002 just as they did in Berlin in 1884.… Seguir leyendo »