Items About Areas That Could Break Out Into War
August 31, 2007: It's been
another terrible month in Zimbabwe. The high point was the issue of a new bank
note. Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank issued a Z$200,000 note (as in a two-hundred
thousand Zimbabwean dollar note). With inflation now around 5000 percent a
year, the bank had to do something. But the new note, while worth 13 U.S.
dollars at the official exchange rate, gets you only one American dollar on the
more realistic black market. The
government imposed price controls has destroyed the market economy.
Refugees are still the big
story. South African government authorities are now acknowledging the problem
posed by Zimbabweans who are fleeing the Mugabe dictatorship. Britain is making
plans to evacuate its (estimated) 15,000 citizens. About a third of the 13
million population is already believed to have fled to neighboring countries in
search of work and food. Over 5,000 a day are still leaving. That means another two million people gone in the next year, if
the exodus stays steady. The government does not have sufficient police or
military forces to seal the borders.
Robert Mugabe's government
continues to tighten the screws. On August 3 the government made a law that
allowed state police and intelligence agents to monitor all internet
communications and phone lines as well as packages and mail flowing through the
postal system. The law is aimed at opposition political groups. But at the rate
people are fleeing the country, Mugabes watchdogs will soon have no one to