Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe principled stand on Libya irks some in the West

Robert Mugabe expelled Libyan Ambassador Taher Elmagrahi last year after he declared his loyalty to the rebel movement at home.

This week, Mr. Mugabe slammed the African Union Peace and Security Council at the recently ended summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for embracing the NATO led rebels in Libya, calling the diplomatic move “unprocedural.”

Mr. Mugabe said the decision should have been made by the collective African heads of state, arguing that embracing the rebels as Libya’s legitimate government was a mistake.

Western Observers took the president’s statements to mean that he is still not prepared to reestablish diplomatic ties with NATO led Libyan rebels.

But the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wants to re-establish ties immediately, according to party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora.

“The people of Libya made their choice and changed their government,” said Mwonzora. “There is nothing that can be served with continuing who is long dead and who was rejected by his own people.”

Nhlanhla Dube, spokesman for the MDC wing led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, said Harare as an AU member is bound to recognize the new Tripoli establishment

“Libya is part of the African Union, Libya is in Africa, and there is certainly no reason why going forward we can’t work towards having full diplomatic relations because the Libyan people are not at war with Zimbabwe,” Dube said.

London-based political analyst Brilliant Mhlanga commented that the differences on Libya between the two parties reflect the ideological divide between them

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