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Group calls Mugabe's actions genocide

Jan. 12, 2009 at 9:48 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- An international group of experts on genocide has used the term for the first time about the activities of strongman Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

In a statement posted on its Web site, the International Association of Genocide Scholars called for the U.N. Security Council to refer Mugabe to the International Criminal Court for prosecution, ISG reported.

"Mugabe is now committing genocide by attrition," write the scholars, which they say falls under the provision of the U.N. Genocide Convention outlawing acts that "deliberately inflict on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction, in whole or in part. Mugabe's apparent intention is to destroy his political and ethnic enemies in Zimbabwe," says the statement.

Founded in 1994, ISG is an international interdisciplinary scholarly organization that seeks to further research and teaching about the nature, causes and consequences of genocide -- and to advance studies on how to prevent it.

Mugabe is facing growing criticism from the international community after months of an ongoing political crisis over a power-sharing agreement signed in September with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Zimbabwe is also facing an escalating humanitarian and economic crisis. A cholera epidemic has claimed as many as 2,000 lives since August.

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