Wednesday, March 23, 2011

'Arab spring' could topple Robert Mugabe, revolution could ripple throughout Africa

William Hague has warned that autocratic leaders including Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe could be shaken and even toppled by a wave of popular uprisings rippling out from north Africa.

The Foreign Secretary said that recent revolts against authoritarian leaders in countries including Libya and Egypt will have a greater historic significance than the 9/11 attacks on the US or the recent financial crisis.

Mr Hague stopped short of threatening military intervention against other dictators, but warned that they will inevitably face “judgment” for oppressing their people and suppressing democracy.

In a speech to business leaders in London, Mr Hague said that the examples being set in north Africa and the Middle East will ultimately transform the relationship between governments and their populations.

“We are only in the early stages of what is happening in North Africa and the Middle East. It is already set to overtake the 2008 financial crisis and 9/11 as the most important development of the early 21st century,” he said.

"Inspiring scenes of people taking the future of their countries into their own hands will ignite greater demands for good governance and political reform elsewhere in the world, including in Asia and in Africa." (read more)