Must Read: US and South African Responses to Zimbabwe

An interesting comparison of U.S. and South African policy responses to the crisis in Zimbabwe:

Zimbabwe has had both a proud and tumultuous history. Emerging out of the carcass of white
colonial Rhodesia, Zimbabwe was a bright star in Southern Africa. The ruling Zimbabwe
African National Union ± Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), led by liberation hero Robert Mugabe, had
strong promise in governing and developing the breadbasket of Africa. Zimbabwe, at the time,
was also a fine African example for health care, infrastructure, and higher education. This great
potential and past achievement has made Zimbabwe’s fall from grace all the more troubling.
Since 2000, Zimbabwe has been in a state of crisis. Like a slow burning fire, the country has
smoldered under a corrupt and authoritarian regime. At the turn of the century, ZANU-PF lead a
radicalized campaign of violent farm seizures and clamped down on the newly formed
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition party. Mugabe maintained his grip on
power through electoral violence and by suppressing the opposition. Political change looked
particularly bleak in 2005, when the MDC split over whether or not to partake in the upcoming
parliamentary elections.

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