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June 5, 2008

Another Knock Against Zimbabwe`s Mugabe

Robert Mugabe decided to attend a summit on the global food shortage in Italy. Other leaders saw his attendance at the summit as inappropriate because he contributed to the starvation of his own people. The Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith called Mugabe’s attendance at the summit obscene.

The reason why Mugabe is blamed for the starvation in Zimbabwe is because he drove up food prices and the cost of other essential items. The country also has the highest rate of inflation. Poverty is wide spread and Mugabe, even after an election that looked like it was taking him out of office was held, has refused to allow a true democratic election to remove him from office. Election tampering is highly likely and is probably the only thing that has allowed Mugabe to keep the monopoly on the presidency.

The Dutch minister for overseas development was also disgusted by Mugabe’s attendance. However, he said that Dutch delegates would still be at the summit and they would try to ignore Mugabe and focus on trying to help with the food crisis.

Mugabe has travel restrictions in the European Union because his countries terrible human rights record. However, when a United Nation’s event is given, Mugabe is free to travel to wherever the summit is. The restrictions that the EU put on Mugabe can not keep him out of UN summits.

In December the EU allowed Mugabe to attend the EU-Africa summit because other African leaders foolishly said they would not attend unless he was allowed to go. 40 world leaders will attend the summit and try to come up with strategies that will help to combat the food shortage issues in the U.S.

In the midst of outrage over Mugabe’s attendance at the food summit, there is violence and political persecution taking place in Zimbabwe. The opposition party claims that 50 supporters have been killed and 70 have been arrested. Africa has a long history of many dead bodies going unnoticed and Zimbabwe is no exception. As the true election results remain unknown and that country waits for a run off election Mugabe’s people seem to be annihilating those that want change. By the time the run off election comes around it could be too late. As Mugabe’s people allegedly murder the opposition supporters, the odds of a new president dwindle.

It is very difficult to get a tyrant like Mugabe out of office. Zimbabwe may have to wait for his death to see change come to their country, a place that was once thought of as the breadbasket of Africa. Where does one draw the line when it comes to foreign tyrants? When does unfair rule become a subject that the world needs to intervene on? The lines are difficult to determine and invading countries quickly turns ugly and often leaves the invader in a bad position. The solutions for Zimbabwe seem far off and hard to come by. In the mean while, a man that should not be in power continues to ruin his country and arrogantly show up at UN summits.

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