We, the undersigned African scholars, are greatly concerned about threats of military intervention in Zimbabwe, ostensibly in the name of human rights and for humanitarian purposes. We fully recognize the political impasse in Zimbabwe and the resultant prolonged suffering of its people. For that very reason, we appreciate the regional initiative taken by SADC to resolve this impasse politically. We are of the view that the political process must be given the space and the opportunity to be resolved in a peaceful and democratic way. The political process is the only way to allow the people of Zimbabwe to arrive at a sustainable solution. We condemn the use of violence to short cut the political process. We call upon the political actors in Zimbabwe to seek a solution that does not subject its people to suffer the consequences of violence. The duty of Africans and states is to facilitate this process in the spirit of Pan-Africanism as an act of solidarity with the Zimbabwean people.
Experience shows that the inevitable consequence of military intervention to resolve social and political conflicts has been endless wars, as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia clearly demonstrate. In all these military interventions millions of people have suffered. Women and children are the most affected. Military interventions exacerbate political and socio-economic crises and internal differences with profoundly detrimental and destructive regional implications. We recognize that threats of military intervention come from imperialist powers, and also through their African proxies. Its consequence will be continued domination of the African continent while dehumanizing its peoples.
Military intervention in Zimbabwe will militarise the whole of Southern Africa. In protesting against threats of military intervention in Africa we confirm the right of African peoples to a peaceful life and to social justice, and to self-determination, including the right to solve our own problems through peaceful means.
Signed by Professor Issa Shivji, Professor Samir Amin, and 200 other scholars attending the 12th Congress of CODESRIA.
10TH DECEMBER 2008