Page last updated at 21:58 GMT, Saturday, 6 December 2008

Archbishop urges Mugabe overthrow

Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York
Dr Sentamu called for "justice to be done" in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe should be forced out of office, the Archbishop of York has said.

Writing in the Observer newspaper, Dr John Sentamu called for Mr Mugabe and his allies to be overthrown so they could stand trial in The Hague.

Dr Sentamu added: "The time to remove them from power has come."

Earlier, Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged the world to tell Mr Mugabe that "enough is enough" amid growing concern over the country's cholera outbreak.

Zimbabwe has appealed for international help over a cholera outbreak that has claimed at least 565 lives. At least 12,545 cases have been recorded since August.

On Saturday, the UN Children's Fund in Zimbabwe said it was preparing to deal with a possible 60,000 cholera cases in coming weeks.

The Unicef chief in Harare, Roeland Monasch, said such a jump could bring the number of deaths to around 3,000.

The time has come for Robert Mugabe to answer for his crimes against humanity
Dr John Sentamu
Archbishop of York

In his article, Dr Sentamu said the world could no longer remain "inactive" in the face of a growing humanitarian crisis.

He said a power-sharing deal between Mr Mugabe and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change was "now dead".

"The time has come for Robert Mugabe to answer for his crimes against humanity, against his countrymen and women and for justice to be done," Dr Sentamu wrote.

"The winds of change that once brought hope to Zimbabwe and its neighbours have become a hurricane of destruction with the outbreak of cholera, destitution, starvation and systemic abuse of power by the state.

"Robert Mugabe and his henchmen must now take their rightful place in The Hague and answer for their actions."

In December 2007, Dr Sentamu cut up his dog collar live on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show and vowed not to wear another until Zimbabwe saw a change in regime.

Gordon Brown: 'The states around Zimbabwe are getting increasingly angry'

The Archbishop has joined a growing list of international leaders in condemning Mr Mugabe.

Mr Brown said he had "been in close contact with African leaders to press for stronger action to give the Zimbabwean people the government they deserve".

The prime minister did not explicitly call for Mr Mugabe to step down, but said world leaders should stand together to defend human rights and democracy in Zimbabwe.

He added: "The people of Zimbabwe voted for a better future. It is our duty to support that aspiration."

He also said he hoped the United Nations Security Council would meet "urgently" to consider the country's plight.

US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, said it was "well past time" for Mr Mugabe to leave office.

And the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said African nations should come together to use military force if Mr Mugabe refused to go.

Archbishop Tutu said Mr Mugabe had committed "gross violations" against Zimbabwe's people and ruined "a wonderful country".

A Zimbabwean man pushes his ill relative to a cholera clinic in Harare, 25 November, 2008
The cholera outbreak is the most deadly in Zimbabwe's history

His comments came a day after Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga said African governments should oust Zimbabwe's leader.

Mr Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai agreed to share power in September to tackle the country's economic meltdown but they have been unable to agree on the allocation of cabinet posts.

The deadlocked agreement followed disputed elections, which both men claimed to have won.

Updated cholera map



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