One of the many sorry aspects of the torture of Nia Glassie was that neighbours knew it was happening but didn’t interfere.
In the wake of that, we’re quite rightly being told that what happens in other people’s homes is sometimes our business.
But if we hesitate to act against something we know to be wrong in someone else’s home, how much harder is it to act when the crimes are happening in other people’s countries?
When do the atrocities being inflicted on Zimbabwe and its people by Robert Mugabe become our business?
Macdoctor writes of the slow and horrible genocide which is happening there.
The ODT says other African leaders have been accused of soft-pedalling on Mugabwe but sees a change:
Leading the charge is Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who has urged the African Union to call an emergency meeting to authorise armed intervention.
“If no troops are available then the AU must allow the UN to send its forces into Zimbabwe with immediate effect,” he said, “to take control over the country and ensure urgent humanitarian assistance to the people dying of cholera.”
Whether or not and under what circumstances the UN, or the AU for that matter, can claim a mandate to invade Zimbabwe – and liberate it from itself – is ill-defined and problematic.
The complexities of the situation are further heightened by the promises of aid for Zimbabwe’s diseased and suffering, aid which is the only plausible response from a world faced with a humanitarian disaster on a scale unimaginable in this formerly wealthy African nation.
The terrible irony is that such aid probably serves only to prolong the terrible dictator’s increasingly tenuous grip on power.
Almost everyone agrees that Robert Mugabe must go.
The big question is how to make him.
And not just how to make him, but how to do it in a way which minimises further loss of life and speeds the return to political stability and the improvements to the health of the Zimbawean people and their economy.