Barack Obama snubs Mugabe

HARARE - President Barack Obama will exclude President Robert Mugabe when he invites 47 leaders to a landmark US-Africa summit in August, seeking to widen US trade, development and security ties with an increasingly dynamic continent to which he traces part of his ancestry.

Obama will send out invites to all African nations that are currently in good standing with the United States or are not suspended from the African Union — meaning there will be no place for states like Egypt or Zimbabwe.

Since 2000, America has engaged Zimbabwe in a bitter diplomatic row, characterised by threats, sanctions and verbal exchanges over a deteriorating human rights situation and rising repression.

Obama will hold the talks on August 5 and 6, seeking to cement progress from his trip to Africa last year.
A White House statement says the trip will “advance the administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people.”

The idea for the summit, which takes place with Washington increasingly aware of China’s attempt to enhance its diplomatic profile in Africa, was first announced by Obama in a speech in Cape Town in June.

Egypt, which has caused the Obama administration to thread a foreign policy needle with an erstwhile ally after a military takeover, is not eligible to attend as it is currently suspended from the African Union.

The United States maintains sanctions against Mugabe and key officials over suppression of democracy and what Washington sees as politically-motivated violence.

Despite its hostility, threats and sanctions, American policy makers still recognise the importance of Zimbabwe in contemporary southern African geo-politics, a vital area of Western economic investment and vital resources.

The US’s “narrowly targeted sanctions,” were imposed on specific high level individuals and their families in Zimbabwe, accused of undermining democracy and crushing the Zimbabwean people’s civil liberties.

This list of over 200 individuals includes Mugabe. Some have had their assets frozen in America.

In the face of a torrent of rhetoric from Washington, Zimbabwe’s president has remained unbending.

He has shown stubborn defiance to Western threats and American-led sanctions. He has missed no opportunity to cry out loud as a victim of Western vilification, double standards and what he has repeatedly called “rank hypocrisy.”

Other notable absentees on the US invite list include Sudan and Madagascar.

One notable inclusion is Kenya, where President Uhuru Kenyatta is currently awaiting a delayed trial at the International Criminal Court on charges related to violence after an election in 2007 that left 1 000 people dead.

The indictment has been one of the reasons Obama is yet to visit the homeland of his late father as president.

But Obama has spoken to Kenyatta on the telephone, and the Kenyan leader has enjoyed more interaction with the outside world since a massacre at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in September claimed by Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab insurgents.


Comments (10)

Yes, the Gukurahundi should never be invited. Let him stay away, he stinks racism and tribalism to high heavens. The civilised world should not entertain such rubbish!!

PHUNYUKABEMPHETHE!!! - 23 January 2014

Chinese will invite him. Isn't it he doesn't care.

Cde Tongo - 23 January 2014

Gukurahundis, please note this. The US economy has almost turned the corner – GDP is forcast to grow at 2.8% come 2015, compared to the current 1.9%. We are talking of a 15 trillion dollar economy, compared to China, the second biggest economy at 9 trillion dollars. The employment figures are up, and this is thanks to Obama, the most powerful leader on planet earth. Not your useless, 90-year old Zwimba gukurahundi thug who presides over an economy that is smaller than that of the city of Durban, with a miniscule 4 billion dollar annual budget he cannot even fund. Jannet, the newly appointed Fed chair will soon introduce tapering, sending your sorry gukurahundi economy into a tailspin. The days of Quantitative Easing (QE) are numbered, and the young man of Kenyan ancestry is straggling the global stage with pride. This is the URGENCY OF NOW – Barack Obama mfowethu!!!

PHUNYUKABEMPHETHE!!! - 23 January 2014

The measure of a man is what he does with power- Greek proverb

SHAVA - 23 January 2014

let the house niggas rush to sell of their people let them get coffee and get pampered.what i can tell you is a a zimbabwean will face god holding onto something a legacy and wealth of the nation not promises of heaven

gava - 23 January 2014

Who is this uncircumised Obama defying the people and the leadership of our great nation Zimbabwe? Long live our president Robert Mugabe, and let the struggle from colonialism continue...

hudson - 23 January 2014

Mugabe is the real enemy of the people not Obama. ZANU PF supporters think they have the monopoly on thought of what it is to be black. Take this fool Gava for instance, why should Obama engage someone who constantly insults him at every given opportunity? You are implying Obama needs to be 'mature' yet Mugabe who is twice his age, does not behave in manner that will help Zimbabweans out of their quagmire. I repeat Mugabe is the real enemy, him and his cabal have enriched themselves at our expense and continue to isolate the country much to the further detriment of the poor. Shame on you fools.

mukwerekwere - 23 January 2014

whats there to discuss with a 90 year old man who can not even look after his own grand children? Obama is there to discuss the future relation with Africa, what future is there in someone who is 90?????? good idea Obama, ndisahwira wako here uyo?????????

tongai tione - 23 January 2014

being 90 alone is an illness Biti

chatunga - 24 January 2014

ma'nyati - 24 January 2014

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