Tutu blasts S. Africa's Mugabe stance

Dec. 24, 2008 at 8:32 AM
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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu says South Africa has lost its moral authority by not standing up to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, also said using force to remove Mugabe from power shouldn't be ruled out as an option as the country suffers from a cholera epidemic and is seen as descending into chaos, the BBC reported Wednesday.

"How much more suffering is going to make us say, 'No, we have given Mr. Mugabe enough time?'" Tutu told the British broadcaster, adding that South Africa has betrayed its heritage as a defender of human rights by blocking stronger action against Mugabe by the United Nations.

"I have been very deeply disappointed, saddened by the position that South Africa has taken at the United Nations Security Council in being an obstacle to the Security Council dealing with that matter," Tutu said. "And I have to say that I am deeply, deeply distressed that we should be found not on the side of the ones who are suffering."

U.N. health officials said Tuesday it might take six months to control Zimbabwe's cholera outbreak, which has killed 1,174 people, the BBC reported.

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