Monday, June 09, 2008

Zimbawe Voters Threatened with Violence

This article very much builds on the last one posted, as it also deals with the June 27th election in Zimbabwe between incumbent President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, but his one deals with alleged acts of violence rather than just limits on food or attempts at starvation. Human Rights Watch, a New York based activism group has learned that President Mugabe and his party, Zanu-PF have been running torture camps for supporters of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party. The Human Rights Watch report lists many attacks, including 36 deaths at the hands of Mugabe's men.

Clearly this article continues to outline a recurring problem in Africa -- corrupt, bad governing and leadership. While almost universally considered to be largely responsible for Zimbabwe's economic crisis, including rampant inflation, unemployment, and the collapse of the agricultural sector, Mugabe has proved he will do absolutely anything to remain in power. He has illegally impeded his oppositions election, attempted to starve out his enemies, and now, even allegedly killed those who stood in his way as he continues to blame Zimbabwe's colonial history and the West for problems that he has perpetuated at best and caused at worst.

The problematic question becomes at what point does an outside agency take action? Revolutions seem to have to come from within to be successful, and outside forces can only do so much before the country has to run and remain functional on its own. The rights of Zimbabwe's citizens are being violated, but there is no obvious answer for how established nations should respond to this crisis, which makes it very difficult and very interesting.