Aust 'enslaves' Aborigines

A Zimbabwean minister says that Australia has no right to criticise his country’s human rights record because Australia is "too busy enslaving Aborigines".


Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu criticised Australia and Britain for attempting to be "custodians of human rights in Zimbabwe, (while) threatening not to attend the EU-AU summit if President Mugabe attends."

"Some western countries, in particular Britain and Australia, are self-appointed bullies who infringe on human rights in their own countries," he said.

"Australia is busy traumatising Zimbabwean children while neglecting and enslaving the Australian Aborigines," said Mr Ndlovu.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has threatened to boycott the summit, and Australia came under fire recently for expelling children of members of the inner circle of Mr Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party.

"Britain must stop the internationalisation of her bilateral problems with our country because of her abrigation of the agreement to pay for land acquisition and her illegal unconstitutional regime change hallucinations."

Mugabe would ‘divert attention’

Mr Ndlovu said if the EU puts pressure on the bloc's president Portugal to bar Mr Mugabe from attending December's summit in Lisbon, countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc and the African Union would not attend.

"That will be the EU's doomsday, not the AU, not SADC and certainly not President Mugabe and not Zimbabwe," he said.

Mr Brown said in a newspaper article he will boycott the key summit if Mr Mugabe is allowed to attend, saying the president's presence would divert attention from crucial issues.

The EU has imposed a travel ban on Mugabe, 83, and members of his ruling elite and Mr Brown said he would persuade the EU to extend the travel embargo to include the families of those targeted.

The travel ban has long hampered efforts to organise a second summit between the European Union and African states.

The first was held in Cairo in 2000.

Portugal, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, has said that it has no intention of discriminating against Mr Mugabe in relation to the December 8-9 summit in Lisbon.