South African vote casts dark cloud over Zim(01-02-07)

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's first significant vote since taking up the non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council is not only a blow to the oppressed people of Burma but a hazardous indicator to the masses of Zimbabwe who are under the same authoritarian, repressive type of gover


nment.
The Council recently tabled a resolution urging Burma’s military government to release all political prisoners, speed up progress towards democracy and stop attacks towards ethnic minorities. It voted nine to three in favour – South Africa was amongst the three states that voted against such three noble resolutions. The resolution failed because of Russia and China’s veto powers.
Burma is ruled by a military junta – the only difference is that the Zimbabwean government is not a proclaimed military junta. The military junta in Harare prefers to subject itself to farcical elections, whereas the Burma mafia discards election results.
This is the dictatorial military government that South Africa chose to partner with against the oppressed masses of that country and it should send clear signals on how she is likely to react when it comes to Zimbabwe.
The military Junta’s policies have led to the displacement of up to a million people. A few of the displaced have managed to escape to Thailand and other neighbouring countries where they live in limbo and are forced to work for peanuts. This is similar to the Harare government, which has forced millions of its beloved citizens into exile where they are reeling in unfathomable murky waters of poverty. Operation Murambatsvina carried at the behest of secruocrats is a classic example that saw the displacement of more than 700 000 citizens.
The military junta is so ruthless that opposition members of the National League for Democracy are being tortured, arbitrarily arrested, jailed and women are victims of rape. These are the day-to-day retributions that Movement for Democratic Change leaders and supporters face in Zimbabwe. We must realise that, despite being part of the global village and the Southern African community of nations, we are on our own – Zamchiya Phillan, [email protected]


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