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How to stop Mugabe

World leaders are half-heartedly pressing Robert Mugabe to negotiate a power sharing deal. It worked in Kenya, or so they argue, so why not in Zimbabwe? There are indeed parallels between these two countries. One side stole an election and thousands died in the ensuing violence. But the similarities end there.

There are marked tribal lines in Kenya while divisions in Zimbabwe stem more largely from geography – between rural and urban dwellers. The international community relied on a skilled negotiator in Kofi Annan to bring the Kenyans together but even with his assured touch feelings remain that President Kibaki quite literally got away with murder. Thabo Mbeki is a political Loris in comparison to the former UN Secretary General, so hopes of a speedy end to one party rule appear remote. Indeed, the outgoing South African President has shown little appetite in pushing the regime in Harare on anything of any substance.

Jonathan Steele offers another model to replicate. The lesson should not come from Nairobi but from Belgrade, not Kibaki but Milosovic. The Serbian leader was finally toppled from power after sweeteners were given to the top military brass. The message to Mugabe’s generals, The Guardian’s columnist argues, should be to “Get rid of Mugabe and keep sending your children to expensive European schools.” This is hardly an appetising option, but Steele makes a forceful argument that is the only one.

The Court of Revolutionaries (Part 2)