Friday, September 21, 2007

Africa in crisis

Robert Mugabe has been subject to international criticism

Floods are hitting Africa hard with vast swathes of the continents being affected. Two hundred and fifty have been killed in the floods and more than half a million people have been displaced. Aid agencies and the UN have renewed calls for help in this latest humanitarian disaster to hit Africa [BBC]. At least 17 countries have been hit by the floods stretching from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia and Kenya in the east. Some states have been under water for months [BBC].

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has seen mounting international criticism as the economy spirals out of control and thousands try to escape by illegally crossing the border into neighbouring countries. Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for action saying that Zimbabwe faced a tragedy which, “requires the whole world to speak up and also to act”. Inflation in the country is at least 6000% and few products can be found in the shops. Water and petrol are equally difficult to find in Zimbabwe. Western governments say the land reforms in the country have brought about the current crisis, whilst the Zimbabwe regime blames international sanctions. Meanwhile the International Crisis Group says the African state is closer to collapse than ever before.

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