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Published 11th April 2008

Vol 49 No 8


Zimbabwe

The ugly endgame

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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President Mugabe has been wounded by his party's parliamentary defeat but his loyalists plan a final orgy of repression

War veterans, 'green bombers' and other irregular armed military units are being despatched across Zimbabwe to crush the opposition Movement for Democratic Change following its win in the parliamentary elections on 29 March. The operation is being commanded by some 200 senior military officers who have been put in charge of the irregulars sent to search and destroy the MDC's political organisation, and kill their supporters, ahead of a second round of voting in the presidential elections. Such is the level of violence already, the MDC says it will not participate in a second round without monitors from the United Nations.


The hyperinflation club

On the fringes of an opposition rally just before the election stood a solitary figure holding a placard, his jacket pasted with Z$10 million bearer cheques. With the gallows humou...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

The scene was set for a signing that would end the two-decade war between Uganda’s government and the Lord’s Resistance Army on 10 April. A ceremony, to be overseen by Riek Machar, chief mediator and Southern Sudan’s Vice-President, was prepared in a bush clearing at Ri-Kwangba, on the Sudan/Congo-Kinshasa border. Uganda sent its negotiator and Internal Affairs Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda. UN helicopters flew in diplomats from the region to the site. LRA fighters gradually emerged. Their leader ...
The scene was set for a signing that would end the two-decade war between Uganda’s government and the Lord’s Resistance Army on 10 April. A ceremony, to be overseen by Riek Machar, chief mediator and Southern Sudan’s Vice-President, was prepared in a bush clearing at Ri-Kwangba, on the Sudan/Congo-Kinshasa border. Uganda sent its negotiator and Internal Affairs Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda. UN helicopters flew in diplomats from the region to the site. LRA fighters gradually emerged. Their leader Joseph Kony stayed away because he was unclear about his legal status, said Riek. The accord proposed that those fighters accused of minor offences should be subject to mato-oput (Acholi traditional justice) and those accused of serious crimes should appear before a special division of Uganda’s High Court. President Yoweri Museveni has promised to ask the UN Security Council to suspend the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Kony. David Nyekorach-Matsanga, chief negotiator for the LRA and ex-publicist for Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, quit after Kony failed to appear at the signing. Diplomats are sceptical about claims by Matsanga and his colleagues to have discussed the deal in detail with Kony. We hear that Riek and Joachim Chissano, the UN’s special representative at the LRA talks, have not spoken to Kony since December 2007. Hopes for peace are back on hold.
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Pointers

Biya amendment

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Cabinet crisis

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