Monday, July 7, 2008

1. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the UN, says:

"The world faces three simultaneous crises — a food crisis, a climate crisis and a development crisis,” he told reporters. “The three crises are deeply interconnected and need to be addressed as such.”

Thank you. Yes.

2. Jakaya Kikwete, president of Tanzania and head of the African Union, says:

"We are saying no party can govern alone in Zimbabwe and therefore the parties have to work together in a government and look at the future of their country together,” Mr. Kikwete said. “And as friends, at the end of the day we will come to an understanding.”

This is the best explanation for the relative silence or timidity of African leaders re: the situation in Zimbabwe I've seen so far. It's true, I think, and it addresses a more root aspect of the problem than the more common concern along the lines of "ROBERT MUGABE OUT NOW." Not that I disagree with that at all, because Mugabe is a scourge and an evil man, but if you just get rid of him there's no reason something similar couldn't happen again.

I thought the suggestion in the NYT the other day that Zimbabwe's parliament just get together and eliminate the office of president altogether (I mean, there's no prime minister already--thanks, Mugabe--so why not go all the way?) in order to get rid of Mugabe, get rid of executive abuses, and better represent an ethnically diverse nation through parliamentary representation was interesting, but again I don't really know enough to say.

Not that I really know anything about this. I'm kind of a babe in the woods when it comes to Africa; I just don't know very much beyond broad colonial history (and I mean broad), some more specific facts about HIV/AIDS, its spread, and its treatment, and a very, very basic (like factoid level) picture of the green revolution initiative. And I have a decent idea of the history of the Democratic Republic (hardy har) of Congo, but that's pretty random.

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