Archbishop of York calls for the overthrow of Mugabe

By staff writers
December 7, 2008

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, believes that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe should now be forced out of office, with the country's cholera outbreak being the final straw with the tyrannical regime.

Writing in the Observer newspaper today, Dr Sentamu, who is the second highest figure in the Church of England, calls for Mr Mugabe and his allies to be overthrown so that they can stand trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity.

Dr Sentamu says in his piece: "The time to remove them from power has come."

Earlier yesterday, the BBC reported that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged the world to tell Mr Mugabe that "enough is enough" amid growing concern over the country's cholera outbreak.

Zimbabwe has appealed for international help over a cholera outbreak that has claimed at least 565 lives. At least 12,545 cases have been recorded since August 2008.

This week the United Nations Children's Fund in Zimbabwe said it was preparing to deal with a possible 60,000 cholera cases in coming weeks.

The Unicef chief in Harare, Roeland Monasch, explained that such a jump could bring the number of deaths to around 3,000 persons.

In his newspaper article, Dr Sentamu says the world can no longer remain "inactive" in the face of a growing humanitarian crisis.

The Church leader says a power-sharing deal between Mr Mugabe and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change is "now dead".

He writes: "The time has come for Robert Mugabe to answer for his crimes against humanity, against his countrymen and women and for justice to be done."

Dr Sentamu continues: "The winds of change that once brought hope to Zimbabwe and its neighbours have become a hurricane of destruction with the outbreak of cholera, destitution, starvation and systemic abuse of power by the state.

"Robert Mugabe and his henchmen must now take their rightful place in The Hague and answer for their actions."

In December 2007, Dr Sentamu dramatically cut up his dog collar live on the BBC's Andrew Marr TV show and vowed not to wear another until Zimbabwe saw a change in regime.

The archbishop has direct experience of oppression at the hands of the late Idi Amin's regime in Uganda. He was a high court judge before moving into the Church.

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