Mugabe Liable for Cholera Deaths: Report

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2009 3:59 PM CST
South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Tutu says the world must use the threat of force to oust Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Pressure from nonprofits and watchdogs is mounting on the UN to intercede in Zimbabwe’s humanitarian crisis, GlobalPost reports. Physicians for Human Rights asserts that Robert Mugabe intentionally dismantled the country’s health and sanitation infrastructure, and is directly responsible for the cholera outbreak that has claimed 1,800 lives. The group urges a UN tribunal or the International Criminal Court to charge the president with crimes against humanity.

“It is not mismanagement, it is calculated. It is criminal,” the group’s CEO said. Others seeking a trial, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, think charges could speed the demise of Mugabe’s dictatorship. Though the effectiveness of such a tack has not been proven, "it is necessary,” one watcher said.