Regime Change

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					From the Editors

Regime Change
U
         ntil recently, Robert Mugabe, the                        notice these things, and neither can the rest of the world.
                                                                  Nelson Mandela, long a defender of Zimbabwe’s government,
         eighty-four-year-old president of                        has publicly lamented the country’s “failure of leadership.”
         Zimbabwe, has answered those                                Once it became clear that Mugabe’s African allies were
who criticize his regime by telling them to                       no longer willing to look the other way, he finally agreed in
                                                                  September to share power with the MDC. He would remain
“go hang.” He has expressed contempt not                          Zimbabwe’s president, Tsvangirai would become prime minis-
only for the concerns of the international                        ter, and cabinet posts would be split evenly between the two
                                                                  parties. The details were to be worked out in negotiations
community, but also for the opinion of the                        mediated by Thabo Mbeki, then president of South Africa.
Zimbabwean people, whom he has tried to                           The MDC and its Western supporters had originally demanded
                                                                  a transitional government, but the September agreement was
buy off or bully for most of three decades.                       better than nothing, and maybe good enough—as long as
   In March, after losing the first round of an election to op-   Mugabe honored his part of the deal.
position leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe sent out soldiers          But in early October, Mugabe unilaterally gave his party
and armed gangs to torture, rape, and kill people associated      control of all the most important ministries, including those in
with the main opposition party, the Movement for Demo-            charge of the courts, the army, and the police. The MDC was
cratic Change (MDC). Tsvangirai was forced to withdraw            offered a few leftovers—for example, water management—and
from the June run-off election and take refuge in the Dutch       later, when it insisted on something more important, the fi-
embassy. The crackdown was referred to as CIBD—Coer-              nance ministry, which is now powerless to stop the country’s
cion, Intimidation, Beating, and Displacement. By the time        economic meltdown. Then, in a final proof of bad faith,
it was over, more than a hundred people had been killed,          Mugabe refused to give Tsvangirai a passport so that he could
and more than two hundred thousand displaced. Observers           travel to Swaziland, where negotiations between the two men
from neighboring African countries declared the run-off           were supposed to take place. Mugabe showe
				
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Description: Regime Change [...] recently, Robert Mugabe, the eighty-four-year-old president of Zimbabwe, has answered those who criticize his regime by telling them to "go hang."
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