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The crisis in Zimbabwe shows the inconsistency of African intergovernmental organisations
The Conversation
Zimbabwe, coup, army, Robert Mugabe
The initial confusion about the nature of the events in Zimbabwe on November 14 was resolved the following day by the army’s declarations. They left little doubt that what had happened was indeed a military takeover and included a call for the resignation of the country’s 93-year-old president, Robert Mugabe. A week later, on November 22, Mugabe indeed resigned, reportedly in exchange for immunity from prosecution. The facts indicated that it has been a coup d'état, so why not call it one? The answer lies somewhere between the strategy of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the incoherence of African elites and the continent’s political bodies. The Zimbabwean “putschists” certainly feared, in accordance with Article 30 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, a suspension and potential sanctions from the AU, something all member states are bound to apply. And given that Mugabe, in power for 37 years, had once been hailed by his peers as a “tireless militant for the independence and dignity of Africa”, they were likely to line up behind him.