|Operation Save Zimbabwe|
|Zimbabwe|| Independent States of America
|Commanders and leaders|
|Robert Mugabe||Pierre Smith|
|Casualties and losses|
|Botswana did not militarily participate.|
Operation Save Zimbabwe (or Operation: Save Zimbabwe, Invasion of Zimbabwe) was the Independent States's invasion of Zimbabwe, with the intent of bringing Robert Mugabe to justice, and defusing his political party, ZANU-PF ( Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front). This marks the Independent States' first operation in sub-Saharan Africa. The invasion started late on the night of 9 March, 2010, when the Independent States Second Fleet left its base in Texas. Botswana also assisted the Independent States. The commander in charge was Pierre Smith.
Land issues, which the liberation movement had promised to solve, re-emerged as the main issue for the ruling party beginning in 1999. Despite majority rule and the existence of a "willing-buyer-willing-seller" land reform programme since the 1980s, ZANU (PF) claimed that whites made up less than 1% of the population but held 70% of the country's commercially viable arable land (though these figures are disputed by many outside the Government of Zimbabwe). Mugabe began to redistribute land to blacks in 2000 with a compulsory land redistribution. The legality and constitutionality of the process has regularly been challenged in the Zimbabwean High and Supreme Courts; however, the policing agencies have rarely acted in accordance with court rulings on these matters. The confiscation of the farmland was affected by continuous droughts and lack of inputs and finance led to a sharp decline in agricultural exports, traditionally the country's leading export producing sector. Mining and tourism have surpassed agriculture. As a result, Zimbabwe is experiencing a severe hard-currency shortage, which has led to hyperinflation and chronic shortages in imported fuel and consumer goods.
In 2002, Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations on charges of human rights abuses during the land redistribution and of election tampering. Following elections in 2005, the government initiated "Operation Murambatsvina", a purported effort to crack down on illegal markets and homes that had seen slums emerge in towns and cities. This action has been widely condemned by opposition and international figures, who charge that it has left a substantial section of urban poor homeless. The Zimbabwe government has described the operation as an attempt to provide decent housing to the population although they have yet to deliver any new housing for the forcibly removed people.
Zimbabwe's current economic and food crisis, described by some observers as the country's worst humanitarian crisis since independence, has been attributed in varying degrees, to the government's price controls and land confiscations, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and a drought affecting the entire region. Life expectancy at birth for males in Zimbabwe has dramatically declined since 1990 from 60 to 37, among the lowest in the world. Life expectancy for females is even lower at 34 years. Concurrently, the infant mortality rate has climbed from 53 to 81 deaths per 1,000 live births in the same period. Currently, 1.8 million Zimbabweans live with HIV. On 29 March 2008, Zimbabwe held a presidential election along with a parliamentary election. The three major candidates were Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (MDC-T), and Simba Makoni, an independent.
The results of this election were withheld for four weeks, following which it was generally acknowledged that the MDC had achieved a significant majority of seats. However, Mugabe retained control because Tsvangirai did not win by the margin required by Zimbabwean law. Hence, the election results that would otherwise put Mugabe out of power, failed the opposition. In late 2008, problems in Zimbabwe reached crisis proportions in the areas of living standards, public health (with a major cholera outbreak in December) and various public considerations. Production of diamonds at Marange became the subject of international attention as more than 80 people were killed by the military and the World Diamond Council called for a clampdown on smuggling. In September 2008, a power-sharing agreement was reached between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, in which Mugabe remained president and Tsvangirai became prime minister. However, due to ministerial differences between their respective political parties, the agreement was not fully implemented until February 13, 2009, two days after the swearing in of Tsvangirai as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.
2007 political crisis
A political crisis began in Zimbabwe on 11 March 2007 when opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was beaten and tortured after being arrested, prompting widespread domestic and international criticism.
- 14 March: Two female officers were seriously injured in a fire-bomb attack on a police station in Harare; the government blamed the opposition Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (MDC). Similar attacks and other forms of protest took place in other parts of the country.
- 15 March: President Robert Mugabe made a statement about Western criticism of his regime: "When they criticize the government when it tries to prevent violence and punish perpetrators of that violence we take the position that they can go hang."
- 17 March: Four ranking members of the opposition were refused permission to leave the country, some of them seeking treatment for injuries inflicted in police custody. MP Nelson Chamisa said he was beaten at Harare Airport; doctors later reported that he had received a fractured skull.
- 21 March: Levy Mwanawasa, president of neighboring Zambia, likened the situation in Zimbabwe "to a sinking Titanic whose passengers are jumping out in a bid to save their lives".
- 21 March: The United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, said that the country's people had "turned a corner" and were "losing their fear".
- 22 March: The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, called for mass public protests to bring pressure to bear on President Robert Mugabe to resign.
- 23 March: The Prime Minister of Australia John Howard called for the world to work towards ousting Mugabe.
- 28 March: Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested in a raid on his headquarters.
- 29 March: The Southern African Development Community held a summit in Tanzania, with the Zimbabwe crisis high on its agenda.
- 8 April: Zimbabwe's Roman Catholic bishops call on the President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe to stand down or face "open revolt" in a message posted on church bulletin boards across the country.
Independent States involvement
In early 2010, President John H. Prince announced at a United Nations summit, that he demands that Robert Mugabe steps down and hands ruling power over to either the opposition, or the United Nations, or face invasion on 1 March, 2010. Mugabe in return did nothing but go on with destroying his country, and not complying to the demands of the ISA.
Later that year, on 8 March, 2010, following some delays, the Independent States Second Fleet left its home port in Texas heading to the eastern shore of Southern Africa. The Independent States Air Force started transporting troops on 10 March 2010.
- Several nations and international organization have been criticizing the invasion from the first announcement from the Independent States. Especially the fact that the ISA didn't have the authorization from the UN Security Council which was most criticized. The use of force by a state is prohibited by Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter. The only exceptions are with Security Council authorization under Chapter VII, which was not obtained, or in self-defense against an armed attack by another state under Article 51; Zimbabwe never attacked the ISA. Even though some NATO countries have been positive about the invasion, no NATO troops had joined the operation. All European Union countries, except for the UK have been strongly criticizing the Independent States for their invasion, as well as other European countries such as the Serbia and Russia.
Course of the war (battles)
In the afternoon of 9 March 2010, two Independent States Army Special Forces teams entered the capital city of Harare via two Black Hawk Helicopters with the intent of apprehending President Robert Mugabe. There was no resistance when one of the special forces teams landed outside Mugabe's home, and the other unloading their team on the house's roof. The security surrendered almost instantly. After searching the entire mansion, they concluded that the president was not there, and none of the staff in the house knew where he was, or so they claimed. One of the teams remained at the house while the other re-entered their helicopter and proceeded to fly to the ZANU-PF headquarters.
There, several soldiers on the ground, started firing at the Black Hawk, but were swiftly dealt with via the helicopter's turrents. The team landed on the roof of the building and proceeded to clear the building from the top-floor down. The team found and arrested several of Mugabe's advisors/ministers/assists, but he was nowhere to be found. When they reached the ground floor to wait for an Independent States convoy to pick them up, they came under heavy fire from the roofs of several neighboring buildings. The convoy arrived several minutes later and picked the team and their captives up, while dealing with the armed men firing at them.
The Independent States Government now speculates that Robert Mugabe must have fled the country. Several other buildings were also searched, but he was not found, he is now on the 10 most-wanted list of the Independent States.
Helicopter 1: This is Dragon Fury 43, entering Harare now.
Control: Roger that Dragon Fury 43.
Control: Dragon Fury 22, what is your 10-20.
Helicopter 2: We are just on 43's four, over.
Control: 10-4, what is ETA until point alpha?
Helicopter 1: ETA is 40 seconds control.
Control: Roger that, advise when there, over.
Helicopter 1: Control, this is Dragon Fury 43, we are landing on the lawn now.
Control: Roger that, 22, are you in position?
Helicopter 2: 10-4 control, we are over the house now, letting ropes fall, over.
Control: Alright, switching over to ground teams, 43 and 22, fly around the perimeter.
Helicopter 2's team drops with the ropes onto the roof...
Helicopter 1's team storms the house over the lawn...
SF Team 1 (roof team): Control, this is Bravo 1, we are entering through second floor windows... now.
SF Team 2 (lawn team): This is Bravo 2, outside security has surrendered, we are entering through the main portal now.
Control: Be advised, there is still security inside, over.
SF Team 2: Ground floor cleared. Moving up the the first floor.
SF Team 1: Bravo 1 here, nothing on the second floor, over, moving down to first floor as well.
SF Team 1: First floor empty, all security have surrendered, no resistance what so ever.
Control: Roger that, good job, secure the perimeter Bravo 1, Bravo 2, return to Dragon Fury 43, over.
SF Team 1: Roger.
SF Team 2: Roger that, moving now.
Helicopter 1: This is Dragon Fury 43, Bravo 1... loaded, proceed to point bravo?
Control: Roger that Dragon Fury 43, move on to point bravo.
Control: Grand Phoenix (convoy), what is your ETA to bravo?
Convoy: This is Grand Phoenix, we are entering Harare now, ETA... when Bravo 2 has finished sweeping.
Control: 10-4, proceed.
Helicopter 1: This is Dragon Fury 43, we are approaching point bravo now... wait... they are shooting at us!
Control: Retaliate! Retaliate!
Helicopter 1: (gunfire) (gunfire)... Roger, threats neutralized...
Control: Damage report?
Helicopter 1: None.
SF Team 1 (back at house): Bravo 1, perimeter secure.
Control: 10-4 Bravo 1, proceed back to the border (of Botswana), over.
Helicopter 1: We are landing on bravo... now
Helicopter 2: Bravo 1 loaded, heading for the border, over and out.
Control: Bravo 2, proceed to clear the building, Flying Rat (Mugabe), is the primary target, all others come secondary...
SF Team 2 (ZANU-PF HQ): This is Bravo 2, proceeding to clear the building...
SF Team 2 (3rd floor): This is Bravo 2, we have arrested several of Flying Rat's associates, no sign of Mugabe, over.
Control: Roger that Bravo 2, proceed to ground floor and await extraction...
SF Team 2: 10-4.
Control: Grand Phoenix, what is your 10-20 at this time?
Convoy: This is Grand Phoenix, we are a couple of blocks away, over.
Control: Bravo 2, Grand Phoenix will be there shortly. Over.
SF Team 2: Control! We are receiving heavy fire from buildings across the street! Tell Grand Phoenix to hurry!
Control: Roger that, they are going as fast as they can. Dragon Fury 43, can you provide support?
Helicopter 1: 10-4... wait, they are hitting us the armour piercing rounds! We can't proceed!
Control: Get out of there Dragon Fury 43, return to base!
Helicopter 1: 10-4, returning.
SF Team 2: Control, we see the convoy arriving, two of my men have been injured, have a hospital unit ready.
Convoy: Control, arriving at scene... now, over
Control: Roger that Bravo 2. Roger that Grand Phoenix. All proceed to point charlie, then to base, over.
SF Team 2: Loading captives now... loading injured... all loaded up, lets move.
Convoy: Threats neutralized, proceeding to charlie, then base, over and out.
Siege of Harare
The Siege of Harare (or "Battle of Harare") began early on 10 March 2010, when the Independent States Second Fleet unloaded its armies in Durban, South Africa. From there, the 345,910 men went by train and highway to the western border of Botswana. Countless base expansions were seen for miles along the border, the ISA Air Force had also started to fly troops in. Once the Independent States First and Second Armies had arrived, they had an hour to rest, and then had to get going to Harare.
The hour went past quickly, and the men were on their way, seeing little resistance along the way. When the sun began to rise, and Harare was on the horizon, the Zimbabwean Armed Forces opened up on the un-expecting troops. This battle right outside of Harare was fierce and claimed many lives on both sides. However, the Independent States' superior military equipment and training came out on top. Among the bodies, several Anglo soldiers were found. The Independent States never expected another African country to become involved with this conflict.
As morning ended, the Independent States First and Second Armies had begun to surround the capital city, there was still medium resistance around the city. Major Pierre Smith, commanding officer of the troops in Harare stated, "We have seen some resistance from the Zimbabwean Armed Forces, along with soldiers from Angola, however they have not succeeded in stopping us."
Late the afternoon on 11 March, 2010, Robert Mugabe and his family were captured by Independent States Army Special Forces at their new vacation home in Hong Kong. Mugabe's wife was spotted by an Independent States tourist in the city, and immediately reported it to the Independent States Government. Less than an hour later, a Special Forces team was in the city. Mugabe and his family were caught inside the mansion and swiftly take by helicopter, to the ISAV Vice President off the coast of Taiwan. Robert Mugabe has since been charged with crimes against humanity and is serving his sentence in an Independent States military prison.
Main Article: Z.C.R.U.N.
After Mugabe had been arrested, fighting still went on within Zimbabwe, however the Independent States troops managed to tighten their grip on the country. The United Nations stated, "Although the Independent States acted without our approval, nor following our guidelines, they did defuse the situation swiftly. The United Nations will now bring into order, the Zimbabwean Commission of Restructure, United Nations, or for short, Z.C.R.U.N.. This commission will assist in bringing Zimbabwe to its full potential, and enabling a new government to take control."
Shortly afterwards, a newly democratic government was elected. Camp Newfound Hope was constructed South of Harare with the new government's permission. The 701st Infantry Brigade is the permanent tenant of the base and is currently in the process of assisting with the formation of a new military for Zimbabwe.