Tag Archives: Zimbabwe

How to rob Africa: watch the documentary online

In light of the “$2 billion diamond theft” from Zimbabwe, Al Jazeera published last week the interesting documentary about corruption and international money laundering.

The world’s wealthy countries often criticise African nations for corruption – especially that perpetrated by those among the continent’s government and business leaders who abuse their positions by looting tens of billions of dollars in national assets or the profits from state-owned enterprises that could otherwise be used to relieve the plight of some of the world’s poorest peoples.

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“The parallels between Côte d’Ivoire and Zimbabwe are striking”

both were once viewed as the singular successes in their respective regions, the envy of their neighbors. Both Mr. Gbagbo, a former history professor, and Mr. Mugabe, a serial graduate student, are highly educated men who helped liberate their countries from authoritarian regimes.

Both later clothed themselves in the racist vestments of extreme nativism. Mr. Gbagbo claimed that his rival Alassane Ouattara couldn’t stand for president because his mother wasn’t Ivorian; Mr. Mugabe disenfranchised black Zimbabweans who had blood ties to neighboring states (even though his own father is widely believed to have been Malawian).

The two countries have also been similarly plagued by north-south conflicts. And when they spiraled into failed statehood, both leaders blamed the West, in particular their former colonial powers — France and Britain — for interfering to promote regime change.

Finally, the international community imposed sanctions against both countries, including bans on foreign travel and the freezing of bank accounts, that have largely proved insufficient.

But here’s where the stories crucially diverge — why Laurent Gbagbo is no longer in power, while Robert Mugabe, who lost an election in 2008, continues to flout his people’s will. Making Mugabe Laugh, By Peter Godwin. Full link

Interesting views of the Ivorian crisis by the author of “The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe.” He also highlight the destructive role South Africa held in both crisis, often going against the general or at least, African consensus.

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“Time Running Out for Peaceful Departure for Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo” : Links about Côte d’Ivoire, Feb 5th

The U.S. ambassador to the Ivory Coast said Friday international pressure on defeated Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo is mounting, and that  the “window” for his peaceful departure is closing. U.S. envoy Phillip Carter says the Obama administration is considering additional sanctions on Mr. Gbagbo.

“I think the Africans are looking for whatever means they can to avoid conflict,” said Carter. “They all recognize that the human rights abuses that are occurring in Abidjan and the western part of the country are something that has to be attended to. And the question of accountability is coming up. And so that window for Gbagbo to leave honorably, peacefully, with amnesty – that window’s closing.” Source

Also in the news this week: alleged weapon deals between Côte d’Ivoire and Zimbabwe, main risks in Côte d’Ivoire, and condoms:
United Nations investigating Zimbabwe – Ivory Coast arms trade claims, SW Radio Africa News, Alex Bell
Ivory Coast: A view of the crisis, Ghana Web, Ade Sawyerr
Key political risks to watch in Ivory Coast, Reuters, Tim Cock
Blue Helmet Condoms for Ivory Coast: Make Love Not War, PR Newswire

Also make sure to read “Beware He Who Speaks with Forked Tongue“, a comment of the post 10 reasons why negociating with Gbagbo is becoming impossible published here.

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