[Marxism] NYT: Bush and G-8 Leaders Press for Sanctions on Zimbabwe
walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 7 21:33:36 MDT 2008
(Washington and the US media are cranking out lots of horrific tales
which are said to be out of Zimbabwe, all part of its effort to push
Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe into accepting some sort of deal
with the MDC opposition let by Morgan Tsvangirai whom Washington is
hoping to push into Zimbabwe's government. It looks like the deal
isn't quite done yet.)
THE NEW YORK TIMES
July 8, 2008
Bush and G-8 Leaders Press for Sanctions on Zimbabwe
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and ANAHAD O'CONNOR
TOYAKO, Japan - The leaders of the Group of Eight industrial powers
hit an impasse on Monday over how to punish Robert Mugabe, the
president of Zimbabwe, after he was re-elected last month in a vote
that was sharply criticized around the world as illegitimate and that
was preceded by a campaign of sometimes lethal violence against the
After more than three hours of meetings at the annual Group of Eight
summit at a spa resort in this northern Japanese town, leaders of
African countries and industrialized nations could not reach a
consensus on how to move forward. President Bush and other Western
leaders urged the international community to condemn Mr. Mugabe and
back strong sanctions against Zimbabwe, but the leaders of the seven
African nations who were also in attendance resisted growing pressure
to adopt a tougher stance.
"Of course we have discussed the issue of Zimbabwe, where we
understand your concerns, but I want to assure you that the concerns
you have expressed are, indeed, the concerns of many of us on the
African continent," President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, the leader
of the African Union, said to President Bush at a news conference
after the lengthy session. "The only area that we may differ on is
the way forward."
Mr. Bush has proposed an international arms embargo and other
measures against the government of Mr. Mugabe, but the African Union
has repeatedly declined to endorse sanctions, including at its
meeting last week in Sharm el Sheik, Egypt. Neither Mr. Bush nor Mr.
Kikwete spoke explicitly about the sanctions plan, which could come
before the United Nations this week.
"You know I care deeply about the people of Zimbabwe," Mr. Bush said
Monday, according to news agency reports. "I'm extremely disappointed
in the elections, which I labeled a sham election."
While Zimbabwe was the topic of the day, several world leaders also
used the occasion to call attention to soaring oil and food prices.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said the costs of food, which
have doubled in recent years, left African leaders worried about an
impending crisis on their continent. And Ban Ki-moon, the United
Nations secretary general, urged the G8 nations in a speech to double
the amount of aid they provide to Africa by 2010.
"The world faces three simultaneous crises - a food crisis, a climate
crisis and a development crisis," he told reporters. "The three
crises are deeply interconnected and need to be addressed as such."
Mr. Bush, who also spoke briefly about AIDS, declined to discuss
details of his proposal for sanctions against Zimbabwe and said he
was "not going to put words in" Mr. Kikwete's mouth, because "he can
express his own self." The two leaders did not take questions at the
news conference, but Mr. Bush said he had asked Mr. Kikwete to visit
Washington in August for further talks. The other African nations
represented at the meeting were from Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana,
Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa.
The African Union leaders have offered only limited criticism of Mr.
Mugabe over the violence before the June 27 runoff, in which he was
the only candidate. In the weeks before the vote, state-sponsored
enforcers beat and killed followers of Morgan Tsvangirai, the
opposition leader, prompting him to withdraw his candidacy. At the
meeting in Egypt, the African leaders said they were "deeply
concerned" about the situation, stopping short of condemning him or
Many African leaders have sought to persuade Mr. Mugabe to agree to a
power-sharing arrangement with Mr. Tsvangirai, who won 48 percent of
the vote to Mr. Mugabe's 43 percent in the first round of the
elections. Mr. Mugabe and the opposing party, the Movement for
Democratic Change, have balked at any negotiated settlement based on
power-sharing, despite Mr. Kikwete's continued push for it.
"We are saying no party can govern alone in Zimbabwe and therefore
the parties have to work together in a government and look at the
future of their country together," Mr. Kikwete said. "And as friends,
at the end of the day we will come to an understanding."
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