What should Africa do about Zimbabwe?
When Kenya played Zimbabwe in last Saturday’s World Cup qualifying game, the chant of “Mugabe must go” echoed around the stadium from some 36,000 Kenyan fans as Zimbabwe’s football team came onto the pitch.
Africa’s leaders have tended to take a much less vocal approach to Zimbabwe’s crisis.
Some are certainly starting to use tougher language – South African ANC leader Jacob Zuma told Reuters he did not expect a fair election on June 27, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan wrote in the Financial Times that Zimbabwe was “tarnishing the reputation of Africa as a whole” and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has also spoken out.
Serving heads of state, South African President Thabo Mbeki among them, generally take a more cautious approach. Some say nothing at all.
Taking a tougher line on Zimbabwe has traditionally been difficult for countries in a region where President Robert Mugabe was widely seen as a hero of the struggle for independence.
But beyond the words – or lack of them — what should Africa do about Zimbabwe? Nobody really expects African states to use force and any sanctions could end up making the plight of Zimbabweans worse? Kofi Annan says it is time to get Zimbabwe’s leaders to talk to each other on resolving the crisis?
What do you think?