Monday, December 8, 2008

RAILA: MOVE IN TROOPS TO OUST MUGABE

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Monday, December 08, 2008
By M’mbolo Bulemi
KENYA TIMES
NAIROBI

PRIME Minister Raila Odinga has called on the African Union to send troops to Zimbabwe to force President Robert Mugabe out office. And if the AU does not have any troops available, then chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania should ask the UN to dispatch its troops to Zimbabwe to do so, Mr Odinga said yesterday.

"Mugabe must be sent home immediately and the duly elected government of Zimbabwe should take office," Mr Odinga said. The Premier said the matter will also top the agenda of a Cabinet meeting on Thursday next week, to enable the government of Kenyan take a common position on the dictatorial rule of the embattled Zimbabwean leader.

"The crisis in Zimbabwe has now reached a point where further lack of action by the African Union and the international community will constitute nothing less than a crime against humanity," Odinga said. Mr Odinga said even though his co-principal in the coalition government, President Mwai Kibaki has not publicly declared his position on Mugabe’s widely condemned leadership, there was no contradiction between the two.

"To President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, the Chair of the Africa Union: The fate and destiny of Zimababwe is in your hands. President Kikwete must now call an urgent summit of the Heads of Africa Union states who must in turn formulate a resolution to send Africa Union troops into Zimbabwe," he said. Odinga accused both the AU and the Southern Africa Development Corporation (SADC) of what he termed as shameful treatment of President Mugabe with kid gloves despite long term violation of the rights of the people of Zimbabwe.

He tore into AU further saying the continental body had shrunk from shouldering its responsibility to offer leadership and direction in ending the tragedy in the once breadbasket of African. "We must not fail the dying people of Zimbabwe in this hour of their greatest need," he continued. "We must beg them not to despair. We must urge them to marshal whatever strength they have to stand firm. We must tell them that help is at hand." More In Print Edition

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