Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

A thin line between fact-checking and propaganda in Gaza social media coverage

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

  • Hamas rockets reaching deeper into Israel

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Gaza as militants target Israeli cities

    Read more

  • UN chief Ban Ki-moon appoints new Syria mediator

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

West pushes to censure Mugabe as cholera spreads

©

Video by Alex DUVAL SMITH

Latest update : 2008-12-19

FRANCE 24 reports from Zimbabwe as Western countries look to increase international pressure on President Robert Mugabe, amid worldwide fears that the country's government can't stop a deadly cholera epidemic

AFP - British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Monday slammed "the denial of reality" by Zimbabwean President Mugabe's regime as the UN Security Council reviewed the dire situation in the southern African country.

The closed-door meeting, also attended by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, heard a briefing from UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Zimbabwe's mounting woes, including a political stalemate, economic meltdown and a deadly cholera epidemic.

US diplomats had hoped to have the council adopt a non-binding statement condemning Mugabe for his failure to protect his people from the cholera outbreak, but a Western diplomat said the plan was blocked by South Africa.

The diplomat said Western council members hope to make a fresh push for adoption of such a statement in January when South Africa will no longer sit on the council.

"We believe that this meeting needs to mark the restart of of Security Council engagement on this issue," Miliband said. "I hope the Security Council will continue in the weeks ahead to continue to engage."

Miliband told reporters after a closed-door council ministerial session that Ban presented a "shocking" picture of "the disintegration of state institutions, the collapse of the economy,...the collapse of health and education services and the shocking fact that cholera has returned to Zimbabwe."

He said speakers highlighted the humanitarian urgency in Zimbabwe where a cholera epidemic has claimed nearly 1,000 lives and stressed the need for Zimbabwe's neighbors and the African Union to "take a stronger role" in the resolution of the crisis.

The United States blames Mugabe for Zimbabwe's political deadlock, economic meltdown and humanitarian crisis, including the cholera outbreak.

In his briefing, Ban deplored the fact that "neither the (Harare) government nor the mediator welcomes a United Nations political role ... This clearly limits our ability to effectively help find immediate remedies to this crisis."

"The current cholera epidemic is only the most visible manifestation of a profound multi-sectoral crisis, encompassing food, agriculture, education, health, water, sanitation and HIV/AIDS," he added.

He stressed that the mediation by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) "needs result fast."

"The people of Zimbabwe cannot afford to wait any longer. The international community cannot afford to watch as the situation gets worse," Ban noted.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Washington has been talking to Zimbabwe's powerful neighbor South Africa and other Security Council members about how to "start a process that will bring an end to the tragedy that is unfolding in Zimbabwe."

Countries with leverage should use it to press for change in Zimbabwe, McCormack said.

A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, proposed Thursday that Zimbabwe's neighbors, particularly South Africa, close their borders with the country.


Zimbabwean Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu however told the state-owned Herald newspaper Monday it was "improper" for western countries to try to put Zimbabwe on the UN Security Council agenda.

Date created : 2008-12-15

Comments

COMMENT(S)