Zimbabwe's Mugabe Regime Expels Anti-Gaddafi Libyan Ambassador

World | August 30, 2011, Tuesday // 18:56|  views

President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe (R) greets his Lybian counterpart Muammar Gaddafi (L) prior to the group photo session during the 15th African Union Summit in Kampala, Uganda, 25 July 2010. EPA/BGNES

Zimbabwe has expelled Libya's Ambassador in Harare after he recognized the rebel Transitional National Council fighting Muammar Gaddafi's regime, a spokesperson of the Zimbabwean government announced.

"The Libyan ambassador and his staff are required to leave Zimbabwe within the next 72 hours," Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, a spokesperson for Zimbabwe's foreign minister, said on Tuesday, as cited by Al Jazeera.

Last Wednesday, amidst the Battle for Tripoli, Libya's Ambassador Taher Elmegrahi and his staff, along with dozens of expat Libyan residents, pulled down Gaddafi's green flag flying from the embassy in central Harare.

They replaced it with the flag of the Transitional National Council, and tore own Gaddafi's portrait from the walls.

Elmegrahi also wrote to the Zimbabwe foreign ministry - controlled by President Robert Mugabe's ZANU(PF) party in the country's coalition government - to announce that he had defected.

However, foreign ministry spokesman Joey Bimha said end of last week that the Libyan rebel movement was "not accredited" in Harare, according to the pro-Mugabe daily Herald newspaper.

'If they say they now recognize it means they are no longer representing the interests of the Libyan government in Zimbabwe," he was quoted as saying by DPA last Friday.

The regime of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe has been a long-term supporter of Gaddafi's 42-year-old regime, and the state media regularly refers to demonstrators in the "Arab spring" across North Africa and the Middle East as "Western-led agents" and "gangsters."

DPA points out that commentators' opinions that after 31-years in power and with no sign of retiring, Mugabe is increasingly feeling anxious as members of Africa's entrenched "dictators' club" are removed by pro-democracy movements.

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Tags: Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwean, Muammar Gaddafi, rebels, Libya, transitional National Council, ambassador, expulsion, harare, dictator


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