Zimbabwe

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 7th May 2003.

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Photo of Clare Short Clare Short Secretary of State, Department for International Development 11:30 am, 7th May 2003

I certainly agree with the latter sentiment. Things seem to be mounting up. The mass stay-aways have been big and the pressure from Africa seems stronger. The disaster is terrible in terms of the destruction of the economy, thuggery, hunger and suffering. My instinct is that the end is coming and that the forces are mounting, but it cannot happen too soon.

On the effects on security in the region, many people are moving out of the country and the crisis affects the region's economy very severely. The drought is less bad in neighbouring countries, so the humanitarian crisis is also less bad there, although it is serious in Zimbabwe. The UN has been involved, especially in the humanitarian crisis.

We need new tools in the international system. When dictators destroy their countries, we do not have the tools to deal with them. I hope that when the International Criminal Court is set up, we can start indicting and arresting some of those individuals, instead of having to wait for the country to fall apart before the international community can act.