|Africa News Digest
U.K. Seeking UN Mission To Intervene in Zimbabwe
April 26 (EIRNS)Britain yesterday forced Zimbabwe onto the UN Security Council agenda, as part of its drive to impose an arms embargo on the country and send a UN mission there. The Security Council agreed to hear a briefing on the crisis from "a senior UN official," probably on April 29.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, in a statement today, "We will intensify international action around a UN Security Council discussion on Tuesday [April 29]. We will press for a UN mission" to conduct investigations in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Opposition Looks To Kenyan Opposition for Strategy
April 28 (EIRNS)Tendai Biti, the Secretary General of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the British-run opposition in Zimbabwe, was in Kenya April 21 with an MDC delegation, and met with Raila Odinga, the British-run former opposition leader who is now prime minister of Kenya. Biti told the media in Nairobi, "Kenya is special to us, it is not by accident that we came to the office of the prime minister." He said his delegation was seeking Odinga's advice on "how to deal with the crisis in Zimbabwe."
After protracted violence earlier this year, the position of prime minister was created for Odinga, who was named prime minister April 13. U.S. Ambassador Michael Ranneberger recently announced a $500,000 commitment to support the development of the prime minister's office, according to the Kenyan daily The Standard, April 27. Ranneberger said, "the role of the Prime Minister is going to be critical. We will work very closely with the Prime Minister in coordinating and supervising the Government.... We recognise that critical role, and that is why we are ready to give money to strengthen the office." Ranneberger also announced that the United States had invited Odinga to Washington "at a mutually convenient date." Ranneberger said, Odinga was being invited because of the importance Washington attaches to his role as the one "constitutionally required to supervise and coordinate the activities of government."
Because of the way Odinga was singled out by the United States for support, Member of Parliament David Musila said that some Kenyans are shocked by the behavior of the U.S. government, according to a Voice of America release today.
Musila said the help "is rather strange because there is only one government." He said the U.S. ambassador may be behaving as if there are two governments, one government for the prime minister, and another government." Musila noted. He said for the U.S. government to act "like there are two governments in Kenya is not proper."
U.S. State Dept. Aids British Anti-Zimbabwe Mobilization
April 27 (EIRNS)U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer continues to carry out British policy against Zimbabwe on her trip to southern Africa, to press African leaders to take a tougher stance against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party. In Zambia today, she called on the international community to intervene against the Zimbabwe government. On her tour, she has said the UN should consider sanctions against Zimbabwe. If a unity government emerges, she said that Morgan Tsvangirai of the opposition MDC should lead it. She has declared him "a clear winner" of the recent Presidential elections, despite the MDC's own statement, and independent observer reports, that Tsvangirai did not have enough votes to avoid a runoff, and the fact that the official results have still not been released.
On April 24, she said in South Africa, "As far as we know, in the first round Morgan won," she said. She said she was going to meet Tsvangirai within 24 hours, and that, because Tsvangirai won, a government of national unity is not an option.
Frazer also supported British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's call for an arms embargo against Zimbabwe, saying, "It will send a great warning to those who would send arms into Zimbabwe, including the Chinese." A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman condemned the U.S. intervention.
The U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, James McGee, who spoke at the press conference in South Africa with Frazer, said that Zimbabwe should expect an economic package worth billions of dollars if a new "democratic government" is formed in Zimbabwe that embraces "free markets."
Only five challenged seats out of 23 remain to be recounted in the parliamentary election. So far no seats have changed, and the MDC still leads Zanu-PF by two seats, 99-97. The remaining seats of the 210 total went to independents, and an MDC faction that split off from the MDC. The British-led media campaign against Mugabe, failed to take much note of the fact that the Zimbabwe government obviously didn't use the recount to steal votes, to claim victory in the parliamentary election. This reality would have interfered with their propaganda blitz.