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Zimbabwe is a country located in the southern part of the continent of Africa, between the Victoria Falls, Zambesi river, Kariba Dam and Limpopo rivers. With an area of 390,000 square kilometer and a population estimated at 11.3 million, it is surrounded by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the west, Zambia to the north and Mozambique to the east. After 33 years of administration by the British South Africa Company[?], from 1923 until 1980 it was officially the British colony of Southern Rhodesia, though Ian Smith's white minority government proclaimed independence unilaterally in 1965 as the State (subsequently Republic) of Rhodesia.

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Geography of Zimbabwe Main article: Geography of Zimbabwe

After a brief period as Rhodesia in 1979 under an internal settlement between the regime and part of the African opposition movement, the country was returned to British rule at the end of 1979 pending elections which led to legal independence under majority government on 18 April 1980. Since then, under the dictatorial regime of Robert Mugabe, the country has declined economically.

History of Zimbabwe Main article: History of Zimbabwe

The gross misuse of land, badly-managed resources and misappropriated donor funding (from organisations like the International Monetary Fund) have led the international community to forecast severe famine in the region by mid-2003. The ruling Zanu-PF[?] elite continues with its controversial Land Reform policies, which have caught international attention because white farmers have been targeted. Observers such as the Southern African Bishops Conference[?], Amnesty International, Genocide Watch[?] and others have reported that country is now on the verge of genocide. As former Speaker of Parliament, Didymus Mutasa[?], has put it: "We would be better off with only six million people, with our own people who support the liberation struggle. We don't want all these extra people". The government has been accused of a more subtle genocide by starving areas of opposition support in order to avoid the media interest that resulted from the images that came pouring out of Rwanda, and of withholding grain supplies from AIDS victims, speeding up their deaths and hiding the murder behind AIDS statistics. After a brief period of reconcilation, the government is attempting to exploit tribal and racial differences to gain support for its policies, focussing on the theme of colonial theft by whites of black land as it confiscates farms owned by mainly white farmers. The state-monopoly Grain Marketing Board (GMB) has prohibited the importation of food by private citizens.

Economy of Zimbabwe Main article: Economy of Zimbabwe

However a growing opposition party called the Movement for Democratic change[?] (MDC), led by Morgan Tsvangirai and growing to popular strength has led many people to believe that political change must come, hopefully through democratic process and the restoration of Zimbabwean rule of law. During 2002, the country's much-contested Presidential elections (many Zimbabweans considered Morgan Tsvangirai to be a clear winner) are believed to have been manipulated to deflect the winnings back to the ruling Zanu-PF government.

For the country once considered the bread basket of the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region, the future remains sad and uncertain. The international community believes that political decisions made both overseas and by Zimbabwe's southern-most neighbour South Africa are crucial to the balance of power in this sovereign state. Under the direction of South African President Thabo Mbeki it remains to be seen whether Mbeki's proposed plan for a true African Renaissance will include political freedom and the rule of law within Zimbabwe.

History of Zimbabwe
Geography of Zimbabwe
Demographics of Zimbabwe
Politics of Zimbabwe
Economy of Zimbabwe
Communications in Zimbabwe
Transportation in Zimbabwe
Military of Zimbabwe
Foreign relations of Zimbabwe

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