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Cablegate: Zimbabwe at the Un: Power Sharing Stalled, Country

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #1105/01 3262318
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 212318Z NOV 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5418
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 0149

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 001105

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ZI ZU
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE AT THE UN: POWER SHARING STALLED, COUNTRY
A "BASKET CASE"

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: UN A/SYG Menkerios told the Security
Council on November 20 Zimbabwe's power sharing negotiations
were stalled. He warned of dire humanitarian and economic
crises, and said the control of the police was the most
pressing issue. South Africa, Russia, China, and Viet Nam
supported SADC's suggestion to spilt the police ministry
between the two parties. The UK, Croatia, Italy, Belgium,
and the U.S. said the refusal of President Mugabe and the
ZANU-PF to honor the deal giving police to MDC had stalled
negotiations. UKUN tells USUN that London expects to push on
Zimbabwe as soon as South Africa leaves the Council. END
SUMMARY.

POLITICAL STALEMATE

2. (SBU) UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs
Haile Menkerios on November 20 briefed the Security Council
on the political stalemate and growing humanitarian crisis in
Zimbabwe. Menkerios said division of the security forces
remained the most contentious issue, following opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party's refusal to go along
with the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
November 9 summit proposal to share the Home Affairs ministry
with the President Mugabe's ZANU-PF party. Menkerios said
the MDC does not believe President Mugabe and the ZANU-PF
negotiate with goodwill, and quoted Tsvangirai saying "no
deal is better than a bad deal." Now, Menkerios said, MDC
took issue with other areas of power-sharing previously not
believed to be contentious, following ZANU-PF's desire to
control of at least half of the Home Affairs ministry. MDC's
new concerns include the role of the National Security
Council, the appointment of ambassadors and permanent
secretaries, and the appointments of 10 provisional
governors, according to Menkerios.

HUMANITARIAN CRISIS DIRE; ECONOMIC COLLAPSE PREDICTED

3. (SBU) Menkerios said the Zimbabwe economy was likely to
collapse, which would provoke probable mass violence and an
even greater humanitarian crisis. He said the people of
Zimbabwe "are being held hostage" by this political
stalemate, and commented water and health issues are now
chronic. Most Council members' remarks reiterated the dire
humanitarian situation, with many speakers noting five
million people are expected to become food insecure by early
2009 and that cholera, a "disease of poverty," as South
African PermRep Kumalo called it, has returned to Zimbabwe.

UK, CROATIA, ITALY, BELGIUM AND THE U.S. BLAME ZANU-PF

4. (SBU) UK PermRep Sawers said the ZANU-PF should "shoulder
the responsibility" for this crisis, as ZANU-PF went back on
the September 15 power-sharing deal brokered with the MDC.
Sawers said violence was increasing and needed to be
addressed immediately, before it spilled over Zimbabwe's
borders. He recalled the Kofi Annan comment that Zimbabwe,
once the breadbasket for the region, has become "a basket
case." Italy and Croatia also joined the UK in saying Mugabe
was responsible for the crisis. Belgium PermRep Grauls said
Mugabe's unilateral appointments were hurting the chances for
reconciliation. DepPolCouns said the SADC proposal for
sharing the police ministry contravened the letter and spirit
of the September 15 agreement and Mugabe needed to accede to
an equitable power-sharing deal.

RUSSIA, CHINA, VIET NAM, AND SOUTH AFRICA SUPPORT POLICE SPLIT

5. (SBU) Russian Minister Dolgov said the delays in
negotiations were because the MDC was not flexible. He said
Russia supported South African envoy Mbeki and SADC's efforts
to resolve this impasse. China said AU and SADC mediation
should be supported and Viet Nam believed the government
should be established from the SADC recommendations.

6. (SBU) Kumalo said "99.9" of the separation of ministries
were agreed on, and the fight is now over the one seat that
controls the police. He said the army ministry "was never in
dispute," and the MDC requested, and received, the ministries
important to them: constitutional affairs; economic
planning; economic finance; five of the six social
portfolios; and others. Kumalo said the MDC appeared to want
the European Union to "impose them into power." He said the
MDC "never won an election."

UK STAKING GROUND FOR POSSIBLE 2009 RESOLUTION

7. (SBU) Sawers rebutted Kumalo's election comment by saying
MDC won the parliamentary election. UK Counselor David
Quarrey later stressed MDC was prevented from competing in
the presidential runoff due to the brutality of the police


and the army. Quarrey said if the parties shared the police
ministry, ZANU-PF would in essence control it, as exhibited
by the police's violence and brutality during the election
and runoff period.

8. (SBU) The UK experts told the P3 before this session UK's
intention was to "put down a marker" this year for potential
Council action in 2009. UK Zimbabwe affairs director
Alistair Harrison, while in New York on October 31, told P3
representatives Russia would have greater difficulty blocking
a resolution on Zimbabwe without South Africa's regional
support for a veto (NOTE: Russia and China vetoed the June
2008 Council resolution calling for sanctions against Mugabe
and 13 other regime leaders. South Africa, Viet Nam, and
Libya also voted no. END NOTE). South Africa leaves the
Council in December 2008. Harrison said the UK was sending a
group to Uganda to both prep Uganda for its role on the
Council and to encourage Uganda's assistance in returning
Zimbabwe to the Council for action. Uganda takes South
Africa's seat on the Council in January, 2009.
Wolff

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