by RAY FLAMING
ON the not unreasonable assumption that Robert Mugabe's days are numbered as President of Zimbabwe -- even if the message has to be driven home by a run-off with Morgan Tsvangirai -- there are some urgent matters that the international community should already be thinking about. Whatever help is needed to ensure that the transition is not marred by unrest involving Mugabe's security forces or the Zimbabwean army should come from African states. This is not a matter for Western powers to get involved in unless very strongly invited to do so. The last thing Zimbabwe will need is clumsy intervention. However, rich Western nations should be considering urgently how a programme of humanitarian and economic aid can be speedily put together -- ideally under United Nations leadership in order to avoid any overlapping or duplication, or even worse, the use of bilateral aid programmes to give this or that country an inside track in future relations with Zimbabwe. This aid programme will have to be on a vast scale: Zimbabwe is a broken and abused country in which inflation is running at 100'000 per cent, two-thirds of the population are unemployed and one-third are dependent on food aid. Morgan Tsvangirai gives the appearance of being a brave, sensible and capable man. He will need all the help he can get to put Zimbabwe back together again after three decades of Mugabe's destructive rule.
HELP FOR ZIMBABWE
by RAY FLAMING
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