Mugabe still has some friends…

So those two great bastions of human rights – Russia and China – vetoed the proposed UN sanctions against Robert Mugabe’s despicable regime. Why am I not surprised? From this morning’s Guardian:

Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said there was no mandate to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe because there was no threat to international peace and security.

“The development of the situation in Zimbabwe until now has not exceeded the context of domestic affairs,” said China’s UN ambassador, Wang Guangya. “It will unavoidably interfere with the negotiation process.”

They were joined by Libya and Vietnam in vetoing the resolution. The US, France, Britain, Belgium, Burkino Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia, Italy and Panama voted in favour. Indonesia abstained.

Sorry? “No threat to international peace and stability”? This gives the message to every tim-pot brutalist dictator in the world that he (and they’re all men) can basically do what he wants to his own people, as long as the mayhem is contined within internationally-recognised borders. I would call that a serious threat to international peave and stability.

And to counter the Chinese objection, the Zimbabwe situation has already exceeded the context of domestic affairs. You just have to look at the thousands and thousands of Zim refugees who have escaped Mugabe’s regime by crossing the border to South Africa, and the ensuing ethnic strife this has caused.

It’s time to act, before even more Zimbabweans die at Mugabe’s hands. Time for his fellow African leaders to stand up and be counted. Time for South Africa’s weak leadership to get a back-bone and say ‘enough is enough’. He needs to understand this can’t go on.

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