Sentamu urges Mugabe action
Gordon Brown has raised hopes of a response to the crisis in Zimbabwe within days after the Archbishop of York urged him to take action against President Robert Mugabe.
The Prime Minister spoke to John Sentamu last night as the Archbishop publicly called on him to lead an international campaign against the Harare regime.
Dr Sentamu appeared encouraged today by his conversation with the premier and expressed optimism that an announcement might be imminent.
The Archbishop disclosed that Mr Brown had watched a major BBC Newsnight report last week detailing the poverty and repression inflicted on Zimbabwe by Mr Mugabe.
"He's concerned," Dr Sentamu said. "I'm hoping the Prime Minister this week is going to make some kind of response."
The Archbishop went on to suggest the premier was sympathetic to concerns that an "African solution" did not appear to be forthcoming.
"He says part of the trouble has been whenever the international community has wanted to do something the African Union has said we will give it an African solution," Dr Sentamu told BBC1's Sunday AM.
"But I don't think they're (going to), just as I don't think they've been successful in Darfur already."
The Archbishop called for a full boycott of the Zimbabwean economy and its sport.
He added that countries should also look at reducing Zimbabwe's embassy staff, alleging that their diplomatic privileges were used to take money out of the African nation.
Ahead of last night conversation with the Prime Minister, Dr Sentamu penned an article for today's Observer urging Mr Brown to look past Britain's " colonialist guilt" in the former Rhodesia.
Former prime minister Tony Blair repeatedly refused to get directly involved in the crisis, arguing it was a matter for Zimbabwe's African neighbours to tackle, particularly South Africa.
But Dr Sentamu wrote that the South African President, Thabo Mbeki, had failed to meet the challenge.
"The time for 'African solutions' alone is now over," he said. "Despite his best efforts, president Mbeki has failed to help the people of Zimbabwe.
"At best he has been ineffective in his efforts to advise, cajole and persuade Robert Mugabe that it is time for him to reverse his unjust and brutal regime.
"At worst, Mbeki is complicit in his failing to lead the charge against a neighbour who is systematically raping the country he leads."
Britain has been wary of intervening in Zimbabwe as it slides towards economic collapse for fear of playing into Mr Mugabe's hands.
The 83-year-old, a former guerrilla rebel against Ian Smith's former white minority government, periodically blames the UK for the country's ills.
But Dr Sentamu, who saw his homeland Uganda ravaged by the tyranny of Idi Amin, said: "Mugabe is the worst kind of racist dictator.
"Having targeted the whites for their apparent riches, Mugabe has enacted an awful Orwellian vision, with the once oppressed taking on the role of the oppressor and glorying in their totalitarian abilities."
Dr Sentamu called on those who opposed apartheid in South Africa and the Ian Smith government of Rhodesia, to now direct their efforts at ridding Zimbabwe of Mr Mugabe.
- 1 Autism 'caused by genetics', study suggests
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
- 4 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
How Homer Simpson discovered the Higgs boson over a decade before scientists
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Harrison Ford plane crash: Star Wars actor 'seriously injured' after light aircraft crash lands
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Administrator - East Ridi...
£35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continuous expansion and growth o...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...
£28000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A luxury fashion retailer based in W...