Day By Day

Friday, December 09, 2005

Zimbabwe Update -- The UN is "Puzzled" by the "Meltdown"

BBC reports:
Zimbabwe is in "meltdown" says United Nations humanitarian chief Jan Egeland following a visit to the country.

He also said President Robert Mugabe's rejection of tents for hundreds of thousands of people evicted and made homeless this year is "puzzling".

There's no puzzle here. The country is governed by a madman. And the "international community" is incapable of doing anything about it.

Here are a few specifics:

"The situation is very serious in Zimbabwe when life expectancy goes from more than 60 years to just over 30 years in a 15-year span - it's a meltdown, it's not just a crisis, it's a meltdown," Mr Egeland told the BBC in Johannesburg, immediately after his four-day trip to Zimbabwe.

He pointed to "the Aids pandemic, the food insecurity, the total collapse in social services". [emphases mine]

And as for the government's slum clearance program that has rendered 700,000 people homeless:

"The eviction campaign seems to me wholly irrational in all of its aspects - you lowered the standard of living rather than increasing it."
And to top everything, Mad Bobby Mugabe refused an offer of tents to be used as termporary shelters for the homeless, saying "Zimbabweans are not tent people." He demanded that the UN instead build permanent housing for the victims of his policies.

It's hard to say which is the greater madness, Mugabe's atrocities or the UN's refusal to do anything meaningful about them.

Read about it here.

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