2003 April 16 Wednesday
US Wants Mugabe Removed From Power In Zimbabwe

A US State Department official says the United States government wants Robert Mugabe to hold another election that is free of the coercion and fraud that helped him win the last election.

"The neighbourhood is starting to realise there is a downside to giving aid and protection to Comrade Bob," the official said, using a derogatory nickname for Mugabe.

"There is stuff happening, there is stuff happening behind the scenes," the official added, declining to elaborate.

US Undersecretary of State for African Affairs, Walter Kansteiner may visit South African countries and pressure Mugabe to hold another election.

The US government wants Mugabe to leave office in advance of the next election and let a transitional government rule while the next election is held.

The campaign comes amid growing international pressure - especially from the United States, which on Monday called on Zimbabwe's neighbours to step up pressure on President Robert Mugabe to hand over power to a transitional government in order to pave the way for new elections.

The US wants Mugabe out in advance of the next election so that he can't steal it again.

"What we're telling them is there has to be a transitional government in Zimbabwe that leads to a free and fair, internationally supervised election," the official said. "That is the goal, he stole the last one, we can't let that happen again," the official said, referring to a widely condemned election last March in which Mugabe won re-election.

The US approach to Zimbabwe provides yet another contrast with French foreign policy. The brutal repressive Zimbabwe regime is another government that the French government caters to. Once again the French government pretends that making nice with a vicious dictator can somehow improve the nature of the dictator's regime. If Mugabe was an enlightened benevolent dictator who just happened to be opposed to democracy it might not be worth it to force him to hold elections. But this guy is running Zimbabwe into the ground. If the United States government can find a fairly low effort way to force him from power then the people of Zimbabwe stand to benefit. If the US is going to make this happen it ought to be done sooner rather than later because under Mugabe the economy and the famine will only get worse.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 April 16 12:47 AM  Axis Of Evil


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