At the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 18, 2012, Zimbabwean Robert Mugabe denounced the "arrogance, unilateralism and military hegemony" of NATO, which he described as “terrorist group”.
In 2011, two weeks before the murder of Muammar Gaddafi, the leader of the Libyan revolution, the former president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe criticized the intervention of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Libya. “NATO countries are simply trying to kill Gaddafi. They deliberately killed some of his children. What is the difference between them and the Taliban or al-Qaeda? “, then questioned the head of state, who affirmed that “NATO is a terrorist organization which defies international law, which obviously only wants to kill”.
A year later, the assassination of Gaddafi - officially by the revolutionary brigades supported by NATO - recorded, Mugabe decided to continue his criticism of the Atlanticist organization. On September 18, 2012, at the rostrum of the UN General Assembly, to African applause, Mugabe denounced the destruction of Libya and painted a vitriolic portrait of NATO, in front of his own ambassadors.
"The growing warmongering tendency of NATO states, inspired by the arrogant belief that they are the most powerful among us, and which they manifest through the use of military hegemony, as in Libya, is the the very antithesis of the fundamental principles of the United Nations”, claimed Mugabe, who criticized the isolation of Africa: “the African Union has been defied, ignored and humiliated”.
A speech which, nearly ten years later, still finds a certain echo. In 2022, Libya is still torn apart, eleven years after Gaddafi's death, and NATO countries are blaming African countries for failing to back up their condemnation of Russian intervention in Ukraine.
The enemy of the West
Mugabe had a grudge against NATO, he who was accused of being the "black Hitler" by the British press, who was attacked by Western NGOs for his one-party rule and who had been sanctioned by Western countries between 2002 and 2017. Zimbabwe has often been referred to as the “Cuba of Africa” due to the embargo it was subject to during this period.
Mugabe ended up overthrown by General Sibusiso Moyo in 2019. And Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was made president after Mugabe's forced resignation. A coup that the international community obviously welcomed, highlighting above all – in the absence of proven crimes against humanity against the Mugabe regime – the “economic failure” of the ousted president. Even today, economists assure without flinching that Mugabe's Zimbabwe, with 20 billion dollars of GDP, had an unemployment rate reaching 90%.
But it was above all the virulent outings and Mugabe's foreign policy that displeased Westerners. During his lifetime, the Zimbabwean President said, when the UN denounced the nationalization of Western companies in his country: "We must discriminate against the countries that discriminate against us".