Almost all of today's broadsheets in England carried Zimbabwe's human rights abuses on their front page. They have stories about the brutal dictator and the world's response to the recent violence. Morgan Tsvagari was lionized on The Independent.
Since the violence, the BBC has opened most of its news with Zimbabwe, its top correspondent Orla Guerin reporting from South Africa. Other European media outlets have also extensively covered the story in hostile ways to Mugabe.
The man has to go. He is a classic African dictator who has no regard for the wishes of the citizenry he is supposed to serve. He is corrupt and brutal. Yet the same scrutiny which is afforded to this liberation hero is not given to another dictator a few thousand miles north of Zimbabwe. Meles has killed more people in recent years. His soldiers and policemen have tortured more opposition activists. He has imprisoned more opponents. While in Zimbabwe, the opposition MDC has its offices all over the country, the main opposition in Ethiopia is unofficially outlawed. Mugabe's three months ban on demonstrations was received with abhorrence by the west. In Ethiopia, demonstrations have been prohibited since May 2005.
Two striking issues differentiate Ethiopia from Zimbabwe. While Mugabe told the west to "go hang" long time ago, Meles has chosen to be the pawn in their hands, their SOB. Mugabe's defiance was met by sanctions from the furious west. Meles, an equally fierce dictator, is being showered with financial gifts from the World Bank and the west.
More importantly, there is "the white factor" which has made Europeans and Americans to act differently in Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Meles killed his own people, unemployed youth(as Donald Levin shamelessly put it). Mugabe's dictatorship started to become unacceptable when he confiscated white-owned farms. When Mugabe murdered 20 thousand people in Ndebele in 1980s, the opposition from the west was largely muted.
let me save the racism jibe for the moment. The very least I could say about the reaction to Mugabe is hypocrisy.
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