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Zimbabwe -- The road to genocide
Natal Witness (SA) ^ | 7 February 2003 | Duncan Du Bois

Posted on 02/06/2003 7:06:50 PM PST by Clive

Cricket authorities dither about the security aspect of playing World Cup matches in Zimbabwe; Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela find it more important to lecture the U.S. and UK on the folly of going to war against the terrorist regime of Saddam Hussein; in between, Mbeki pontificates on the need for democracy in Ivory Coast. But these people studiously ignore the fact that right on South Africa's doorstep Zimbabwe seems poised for genocide.

Just as in the thirties, when people like George Bernard Shaw proclaimed Stalin's Russia a model society and Chamberlain declared that Hitler could be trusted, the international tip-toeing around Mugabe's tyranny in Zimbabwe reeks of hypocrisy. Indeed, it beggars belief that officials of the ICC have failed to pick up on the fact that besides security problems in Zimbabwe, the reality is that basic foodstuffs, household goods and fuel are in critically short supply, to say nothing of the infrastructure that is teetering on the brink of collapse; that, in fact, a pogrom is being systematically conducted by Mugabe's thugs against those who believe in democracy; that torture, beatings and starvation is what Zimbabwe is about in 2003.

A widely circulated (yet amazingly unpublished) report entitled Is Zimbabwe on the brink of Genocide? places the state of affairs in that country in a chilling perspective. Prepared for ZWnews by an independent human rights consultant, what this meticulously-researched document states should be headline news. Genocide, as the writer states, is usually a subject associated with history books. What people don't realise is that it doesn't just happen overnight. Although the mass killing of Jews by the Nazis occurred from 1942, the process which led to it began with the onset of Nazi rule in Germany in 1933. Mass human rights violations, harassment and killings of Jews was institutionalised long before genocide became policy. Then, as now, disbelief that something as horrific as genocide was taking place resulted in inaction.

Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948, the Genocide Convention has been signed by 130 countries including Zimbabwe. Article Two of the convention defines genocide as acts committed with the intention to destroy, in whole or in part, national, ethnic, racial or religious groups. Such acts include "deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction". The means listed to achieve that end include "deprivation of the means to sustain life through confiscation of harvests, blockade of foodstuffs, detention in camps and forced relocation". Those very things have been happening in Zimbabwe for the past year.

The reason the purveyors of political correctness insist there is no genocide in Zimbabwe is because mass killings are not taking place. But, as with the Nazis, the development of genocide involves six stages before mass slaughter begins. According to the report, there is compelling evidence that Zimbabwe is now in the sixth stage of the process.

With its history of ethnic clashes between the Shona and Ndebele, both before and since colonialism, the primary condition leading to genocide is inherent in Zimbabwe. In the early eighties the Ndebele were on the receiving end of Mugabe's North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade which, in two spates of ethnic cleansing, killed between 20 000 and 40 000 Ndebeles as a precursor to the third stage of the process, namely, dehumanisation.

By means of media and political dominance Mugabe has ensured a steady escalation in the polarisation of Zim society. Through hate speech, incitement and vilification "out" groups like the Ndebele, the MDC and white commercial farmers have been subjected to a process of dehumanisation. This has included the denial of constitutional rights and the use of state-sanctioned terrorism. The latter has ensured progress to the fourth stage - mobilisation of state forces. What started with the so-called war veterans, assisted by the police and military, now includes a rapidly growing youth militia called the "green bombers".

In the past three years there has been a proliferation of militia groups in Zimbabwe, all dedicated to the systematic disruption, deprivation and displacement of those belonging to the "out' groups. Human rights groups have observed that patterns of torture used by these groups supports the notion that torture techniques are part of their training. And in the past 10 months, the ranks of the green bombers have grown to 9 000.

Phase five of the road to genocide involves the silencing of all critical voices. To date Mugabe has expelled almost all foreign journalists, tortured and harassed local journalists and bombed opposition newspapers. The trial of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai for treason is a further manifestation of phase five's drive to eliminate opposition. Not surprisingly, Zimbabwe has been assessed recently as one of the most oppressed states in the world.

According to Genocide Watch, Zimbabwe is now well into phase six of the descent to genocide: the final preparation. Although there are no concentration camps, the country has been divided into "no go" areas: towns are split from the countryside; rural areas are being "sealed up" and the movements of people are monitored - even the flights of light aircraft. Access to food and essentials is politically controlled. Truckloads of displaced people are dumped daily on land that cannot support large-scale habitation. Mass starvation, as Stalin found, removes political problems. Green bomber camps are being established in each district primed to exterminate opposition hot spots. Zimbabwe, says Genocide Watch, is now poised for genocide. Reinforcing that assessment is the massive militarisation of all state, parastatal and NGO sectors.

Eight million people are starving in Zimbabwe, their plight deliberately engineered by Mugabe. In terms of Article Three of the Genocide Convention, conspiracy to commit genocide and complicity in genocide are acts that are punishable. Yet the ANC applauds Mugabe's Zanu-PF as being "progressive" and Jacques Chirac of France shelters behind semantics in justifying Mugabe's visit to Paris.

In April 1998 UN Chief Kofi Annan declared that African leaders had only themselves to blame for Africa's woes. Given the unfolding tragedy in Zimbabwe, Annan's indictment seems doomed to repetition.

Duncan Du Bois is a DA Durban Metro ward councillor and a political analyst. He writes in his personal capacity.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: africawatch; zimbabwe

1 posted on 02/06/2003 7:06:51 PM PST by Clive
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To: *AfricaWatch; Cincinatus' Wife; sarcasm; Travis McGee; happygrl; Byron_the_Aussie; robnoel; ...
2 posted on 02/06/2003 7:07:14 PM PST by Clive
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To: Clive
Yet the ANC applauds Mugabe's Zanu-PF as being "progressive" and Jacques Chirac of France shelters behind semantics in justifying Mugabe's visit to Paris.

And the Western leftists applauded Stalin while he authorized the murder of millions. France pats Mugabe on his widdle head, hoping to "civilize" his regime. BS, they don't care about starving Zims. Zimbabweans have no one to look to, because their tragedy is occuring during the Iraq, N. Korea mess, and the U.N. is truly irrelevant. God help the Zimbabweans, because nobody else will.

3 posted on 02/06/2003 7:41:24 PM PST by xJones
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To: Clive
"Let Africa sink." -Kim du Toit
4 posted on 02/06/2003 7:52:30 PM PST by wizardoz (I'll show you "imperialist"!)
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To: xJones
5 posted on 02/06/2003 7:54:41 PM PST by hoot2
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To: Clive
So sad...
6 posted on 02/06/2003 9:31:20 PM PST by Cindy
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To: Cindy
Imagine a barren lifeless Africa, all its resources up for grabs.

Give it 50 years, tops. Northern Africa might hold on longer due to the only "semi-barbaric" peoples there, although alot of those(muslims) are emigrating to Europe. But between AIDS and ethnic cleansings...just ain't no hope fer that continent.

7 posted on 02/06/2003 10:17:00 PM PST by Stopislamnow
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To: wizardoz
"Let Africa sink." -Kim du Toit

who is he?

8 posted on 02/06/2003 10:24:47 PM PST by cherry
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To: cherry
Kim du Toit is a white South African who now lives in Chicago... or did for a while, anyway. He has a very interesting blog... I don't know if I could find it again but if you're interested I could try.

How'd you know Kim was male?

9 posted on 02/07/2003 7:09:19 AM PST by wizardoz (I'll show you "imperialist"!)
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To: Clive
10 posted on 02/07/2003 7:20:28 AM PST by Dante3
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