Sunday, September 16, 2007

Church leader blasts Mugabe – is Brown listening?

Britain’s Archbishop of York has launched a scathing attack on Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, calling him "the worst kind of racist dictator".

Dr John Sentam – who it should be pointed out is black – says Britain needs to escape its "colonial guilt" to tackle the Mugabe regime. And he says Gordon Brown must abandon the foreign policy towards Zimbabwe pursued by Tony Blair, with its emphasis on the role of neighbouring governments such as South Africa, and lead an international response.

The archbishop writes: "Having targeted the whites for their apparent riches, Mugabe has enacted an awful Orwellian vision, with the once oppressed taking on the role of the oppressor and glorying in their totalitarian abilities."

He also has strong words for South African president Thabo Mbeki, saying: "At worst, Mbeki is complicit in his failing to lead the charge against a neighbour who is systematically raping the country he leads."

The archbishop's outburst will be an embarrassment to the Brown government, which almost weekly makes some ambitious pledge or another about its plans for eradicating poverty in Africa, and ending conflicts there.

I made some similar points to the archbishop's a couple of weeks ago in this post.

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