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Cablegate: Zimbabwean Papers React to Un Report On

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 002347

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PD, AF/S, AF/RA
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAO KMDR ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWEAN PAPERS REACT TO UN REPORT ON
LOOTING OF THE DRC


1. Editorials focus on the UN report on "Illegal
Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of
Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)."
Excerpts follow:

2. Under headline "Zimbabwe deserve truth on DRC
looting" the independent daily "The Daily News"
(10/26) comments:

"The honorable course of action for the
Zimbabwean leaders named in the United Nations
report on the plunder of the natural resources
of the DRC is to step down immediately from
their positions. . . Only the truth can clear
the air and until then, all of them must
relinquish their posts. . . The UN report
confirms the suspicion both here and around the
world that the whiff of scandal surrounding the
presence of our troops in the DRC had a solid
basis. It is scandalous that while the official
government propaganda was that Zimbabwe was in
the DRC to protect the sovereignty of a fellow
African country under siege, its leaders were
enriching themselves illicitly by exploiting the
natural resources of that strife-torn country. .
."

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3. Under headline "Successful end to DRC mission"
the government-controlled weekly "The Sunday Mail"
(10/27) comments:

"On Wednesday the SADC Allied Forces in the DRC
will lower their flags at their headquarters to
mark the last step in the triumphal withdrawal
from the Great Lakes region after a four-year
campaign. No one can question the fact that
they have achieved their mission - to preserve
the independence and national sovereignty of a
sister SADC country against invading forces.
There is no doubt that it is Zimbabwe and its
allies who have brought peace to the DRC and
prevented what would certainly have been
genocide. But Zimbabwe's detractors are
determined that it should not get the glory for
the work it has done. This explains why, on the
eve of the withdrawal, Western forces led by
Britain and the U.S. have engaged their lapdog
media in Zimbabwe and in Europe to present
Zimbabwe as a plunderer and not a peacemaker.
To give the campaign credibility it has been
presented in the form of a UN report which, when
read closely, exposes itself as nothing but a
consolidation of British and American
intelligence reports. . ."

4. Under headline "The politics behind the UN report
on the DRC" the pro-government weekly "The Sunday
Mirror" (10/27) comments:

"What is being peddled in the press as `The UN
Report' on the DRC is actually the third in a
series of such reports which started in the year
2001. . . The bottom line is that, this third
report and final report was supposed to be an
anti-Zimbabwe document. The tone is very clear,
and the authors were at pains to name Zimbabwe
or to give the name of a Zimbabwean wherever
possible. There is no doubt that Zimbabweans
were and are doing business in the DRC, and the
Zimbabwe defense Forces involved have never
denied it. They are involved in mining ventures
with the full blessing of the government of the
DRC. . . Why the UN experts continued to label
declared business as looting is perhaps. . .a
matter of ideology. . . The UN experts are
certainly under the spell of the new ideology
advanced by Paul Collier which states that all
modern African conflicts are a result not of any
genuine political, national or regional security
concerns, but the greed of a few African
strongmen who want to benefit from the looting
made possible by the occasion of war. If
followed logically, this argument would nullify
all African talk of fighting for liberation,
sovereignty, democracy and other political
values. All modern African struggles could then
be reduced to nothing more than looting and
plundering, and that indeed would be the end of
modern African History as we know it."

SULLIVAN

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