Lovemore Ranga Mataire in Victoria Falls—
President Mugabe has described as disgraceful and shameful the decision by the African contingent in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to vote in support of NATO’s “No-Fly Zone” resolution that led to the eventual invasion of Libya and the killing of President Muammar Gadaffi. Officially opening the 67th World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa Summit at Elephant Hills, Victoria Falls, President Mugabe said it was worrisome that some countries had the temerity to attack, with impunity, less powerful countries, while the world did nothing.
“The weakness of our world system is that when innocent countries are attacked we fold our hands,” he said. “I am saying this off the cuff because it worries me. Where are we going? Where is the world going?
President Mugabe was referring to the March 17, 2011 UNSC Resolution 1973, which authorised the imposition of a no-fly zone on Libya in response to that country’s civil war.
The UNSC had initially failed to garner the necessary two-thirds majority, but African countries were later cajoled to vote in favour of the resolution.
South Africa, Nigeria and Gabon were among the non-permanent members who voted in support of the resolution.
“Yes, the matter came to (UN) Security Council,” said President Mugabe. “The whites said, yes, he must be attacked, and China and Russia said no in the Security Council. The matter could not have proceeded any further because of the necessary two-thirds majority, with Russia and China abstaining.
“Then it came to us the poor Africans. The poor Africans, sometimes not thinking well about the consequences of those attacks. So, what did we have? Quite disgraceful and shameful thing.”
African countries, including Zimbabwe, President Mugabe said, pleaded with China and Russia to exercise their veto, but the two said the best they could do was to abstain in light of the three African members and the Arab contingent’s support of nato.
Gadaffi was killed by the same powers that destroyed Iraq and killed its President Sadam Hussein, President Mugabe said.
President Mugabe said he had no respect for former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who acted like an American lapdog by supporting the decision to attack Hussein without evidence that weapons of mass destruction existed.
He said Saddam had achieved some modicum of peace in his country after managing to unite the Suni and Shia muslim groups.
President Mugabe lamented the lack of humanitarianism, which he said was the cornerstone and essence of most religions like Catholicism.
“We thought Mali was safe, but no! We thought Nigeria, with that great and grand status they have given to themselves, will not have murderous organisations, but we were shocked when over 200 school children just disappeared and nobody knows where they are,” he said.
It was shocking, he said, that Nigeria with its vast army could fail to locate the missing girls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents.
President Mugabe urged WHO’s new director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is Ethiopian, to represent Africa well.
He urged him to play his part as an African in ensuring the improvement of health delivery systems on the continent.
The 67th WHO Regional Committee for Africa Summit will run until Friday, and there are 47 member States in the region.