Diplomats are on the attack in Zimbabwe

These guys deserve medals.

Not content to sit back and let violence run unabated, a convoy of diplomats set out to investigate the pre-election violence being inflicted on Zimbabwe’s rural population. The diplomats, including ambassadors from the US, UK, the EU and Japan, show some serious mettle. From the London Times:

Kevin Stirr, the US Embassy’s democracy and governance officer, was asked by a security agent what the group had been doing. “Looking at people who have been beaten,” he said. The Central Intelligence Organisation agent replied: “We are going to beat you thoroughly, too”, before turning away and returning to his car. Mr Stirr pulled open the door and shouted at him.

The two agents in the vehicle tried to flee, but James McGee, the US Ambassador, stood in their path. When they tried to push him away with the car, he sat heavily on the bonnet. He went on to take photographs of the agents, who were trying to hide their faces.

Earlier, at Mvurwi hospital, another state security agent had tried to order Mr McGee to the station “to verify some information.”

The hospital gates were closed by three officers armed with automatic rifles. These instructions were also firmly rejected by Mr McGee. He then pulled the gate open to let the convoy drive through.

At Rhimbick sawmill near by, the ambassadors surprised a senior lone war veteran by entering the house commandeered as the “command centre” from where a mob of about a hundred youths has been dispatched to brutalise villagers almost nightly since April 28.

In a large empty room the diplomats found four well-thumbed exercise books filled with names, many of which had been designated as “war collaborators”.

The war veteran snatched away the books but only after a cameraman had filmed several pages.

“Clearly, questioning was done here,” Mr Pocock said.

Mr McGee said that the threats would not deter the ambassadorial mission. “We are eager to continue this type of thing, to show the world what is happening here in Zimbabwe. It is absolutely urgent that the entire world sees what is going on. The violence has to stop.”

Full article here.