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Obama asked SADC to put pressure on Robert Gabriel Mugabe to leave - Wikileaks

by The Insider
01 February 2011 | 1859 Views

United States President Barack Obama asked the Southern African Development Community to put pressure on Zimbabwe for Mugabe to exit, six months after the formation of the inclusive government, according to one of the cables just released by Wikileaks.


The request was made by Obama's Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson to Botswana Vice- President Mompati Merafhe when they met on 2 July 2009 on the margins of the African Union Summit in Sirte, Libya.


Carson told Merafhe that when Obama met Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in Washington the previous month (12 June 2009) he had said helping Tsvangirai without aiding Mugabe would be a challenge.


During the meeting Obama showered Tsvangirai with praise for reforming the country in the few months that he had been in office but promised him only $73 million in conditional aid, a paltry sum compared to the problems the country was facing.


Obama chided Mugabe for resisting reforms saying: "The president, President Mugabe - I think I've made my views clear - has not acted all the time in the best interest of the Zimbabwean people and has been resistant to the kinds of democratic changes that need to take place."


He said he was not convinced that Tsvangirai could turn the country around in partnership with Mugabe. Aid from the United States would therefore not go through the government. "We continue to be concerned about consolidating democracy, human rights, and rule of law, but it will be going directly to the people in Zimbabwe and I think can be of assistance to the prime minister in his efforts."


Carson told Merafhe that the United States channelled its assistance to Zimbabwe through non-governmental organisations. The aid was for humanitarian assistance, HIV/Aids, democracy and governance, agricultural inputs and education.


He asked Merafhe if SADC would increase pressure on Zimbabwe for Mugabe to exit. The cable does not say what Merafhe's response was.


Carson also asked Merafhe what his views on new South African President Jacob Zuma were. Zuma had been regarded as highly critical of Mugabe. Merafhe said though it was too early to tell, initial indications were that Zuma would be internally focussed.






Obama SADC Mugabe

Source: The Insider

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