If you've been reading this blog, you know that I'm not a great fan of the U.N.. For example:
- "United States in Iraq, a United Nations Mandate, and What Iraq's Leaders Want (June 11, 2008)
- Selection from "Unilateral Attack Sparks International Condemnation! Syria Had No Reactor! Pay No Attention to the North Koreans!" (April 26, 2008)
So, in the interests of fairness, here's good news from the United Nations.
From today's news:
- "U.N. condemns Zimbabwean violence"
CNN (June 23, 2008)
- "HARARE, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- The U.N. Security Council has unanimously condemned the Zimbabwean government because of violence that has marred the campaign leading up to a scheduled presidential election runoff, which forced the withdrawal of the opposition candidate from the race.
- "The council's statement questioned the legitimacy of any election held under such circumstances but did not directly call for the runoff, scheduled for Friday, to be postponed.
- "Earlier, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made that appeal, saying the vote runoff as currently scheduled 'would only deepen divisions within the country and produce a result that could not be seen as credible.'..."
- "UN declares fair Zimbabwe vote 'impossible' "
The Gazette (Montreal) (June 23, 2008)
- "UNITED NATIONS - Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai took refuge Monday in Zimbabwe's Dutch embassy as the United States and Britain pushed for him to be recognized as the country's leader in the absence of a fair presidential run-off election.
- "Tsvangirai said he was ready to negotiate with the ZANU-PF party of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, but only if the violence that led him to withdraw from Friday's planned run-off election stopped - or Mugabe stepped down.
- "In the Zimbabwean capital of Harare, police responded by raiding the offices of his Movement for Democratic Change party, arresting about 60 people, including women and children...."
I'm particularly impressed that the U.N. Security Council could decide to "micromanage" Mugabe's election, considering the source of the statement. "Against strong opposition from South Africa, the United States and Britain drafted a statement that effectively called for Tsvangirai to be declared president if violence continued to render the run-off a sham."
I think the U.N. condemnation makes good sense. Even allowing for cultural differences, Mugabe's determination to hold onto power seems excessive. And, his methods are quite unpleasant.
For example, a committee went to the house of a regional opposition leader and left him a non-verbal message. The message was the body of his wife, Dadirai, who was tortured to death ("Terrorism: Still Not a Muslim Monopoly" (June 11, 2008)).
I see that this may be a fairly common practice in Zimbabwe: "Zimbabwe opposition: Mayor's wife killed" (CNN (June 19, 2008)). This time, the victim was Abigail Chiroto, wife of Emmanuel Chiroto, recently-elected mayor of Harare, and opposition party member.
The score last Thursday was 70 opposition dead, and Mugabe still in office.
A pretty good background on Zimbabwe:
"Zimbabwe" (entry in World Factbook)
CIA (updated June 19, 2008 - before the latest spot of unpleasantness grew)
Update (June 24, 2008)
- "South Africa and Zimbabwe"
Stoneman's Corner (June 24, 2008)
BlogCatalog discussion thread (started June 24, 2008)
- "Blogs bemoan Tsvangirai pull-out"
BBC (June 24, 2008)
(Look for "RELATED INTERNET LINKS" in the sidebar, for websites and blogs concerned with Zimbabwe)
- "Tsvangirai wants armed peacekeepers in Zimbabwe"
CNN (June 25, 2008)