Sub-Saharan Africa

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 22nd January 2003.

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Photo of Clare Short Clare Short Secretary of State, Department for International Development 11:30 am, 22nd January 2003

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. Zimbabwe has withdrawn its troops from the Democratic Republic of Congo, as have Rwanda, Namibia and Angola, which is progress. Since South Africa became involved, considerable progress has been achieved on agreeing a transitional Government of all the different factions. That Government are not quite in place, and there is still a lot of destabilisation by forces that support genocide in Burundi and Rwanda. We are getting progress, however, and we are doing everything that we can to drive it forward.

In Zimbabwe, everything that a British Government could have done to try to prevent the ever-growing crisis, abuse of human rights, the stolen election and, now, horrendous levels of hunger, has been done, through the Commonwealth and the European Community, without success. The present situation is catastrophic. We are doing all that we can and are a major player in keeping people fed and cared for. My view is that this catastrophe will bring down the Mugabe regime, but at the cost of terrible suffering for the people of Zimbabwe.