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October 23, 2003

Dissent: Starve

There's more evidence that Robert Mugabe is using food as a weapon in Zimbabwe. Where as earlier articles discussed food for political support (see this post), this article points to the more frightening potential of forced starvation for dissidents, opponents, and those for whom food aid would be seen as politically dangerous:

The New York-based group, Human Rights Watch, has accused the Zimbabwean government of denying its opponents access to food supplies.

In a report entitled "The Politicisation of Food in Zimbabwe," the group says farmers recently resettled as part of President Robert Mugabe's land redistribution policy are among those affected.

Human Rights Watch says the Zimbabwean Government does not want to acknowledge that its highly controversial programme is a failure, and international relief agencies are complicit in preventing food from reaching the resettled farms.

The World Food Programme has denied the charge, saying it is still assessing the need in the resettled areas.

The repeated accusations of political bias in food distribution in Zimbabwe have hampered the UN's fund-raising efforts to tackle food shortages throughout southern Africa.

There's nothing particularly novel about a dictator using food as a weapon, and this development was predictable. The fact that we could see it coming, though, does nothing to make coming deaths any more palatable.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at October 23, 2003 10:21 PM
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