Report exposes British govt's role in Gukurahundi

6 years agoMon, 24 Apr 2017 08:01:29 GMT
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Report exposes British govt's role in Gukurahundi

A 20 page report by British academic Hazel Cameron has exposed the British government’s role in Gukurahundi. The report titled The Matabeleland Massacres: Britain’s wilful blindness exposes how the Margaret Thatcher led administration gave Robert Mugabe’s government military support and ignored the atrocities because they targeted Ndebeles and other black minorities, and not whites.

Basing her conclusions on the recently released United States diplomatic cables, Cameron identifies Robin Byatt, the British high commissioner to Zimbabwe at the height of Gukuruhandi and Major-General Colin Shortis, who was the commander of the British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT) as leading figures who covered up the Gukurahundi massacres. According to the report, Byatt boycotted a meeting with the Canadian embassy on March 11, 1983, which had been organised to share notes on the unfolding atrocities in Midlands and Matabeleland.

Cameron writes that even Prince Charles was convinced that the Gukurahundi atrocities were exaggerated when he visited Zimbabwe in 1984. Britain continued to give Zimbabwe military aid during the atrocities. Writes Cameron:

In spite of this knowledge, the British MOD, who had by this point already trained six Fifth Brigade personnel, continued to offer their assistance in the training of Fifth Brigade, including the forty three members of Fifth Brigade, who were at that point in time attending courses at the BMATT training base of Inkomo. A copy of this cable was also forwarded to the FCO by the British defence attaché.

Mugabe was also awarded an honorary degree by University of Edinburgh in 1984 in the United Kingdom. In addition, Colonel Perrence Shiri, the commander of the Fifth Brigade throughout the period of Gukurahundi, was invited to take a place at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London in 1986.

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