Series of misunderstandings and protection from other African leaders meant Britain could only wound the regime

Britain’s 40-year effort to find a way to either influence or dislodge Robert Mugabe is one of the country’s great post-war foreign policy failures. It is a story spanning six UK prime ministers, nearly £1bn in aid and every conceivable strategy.

Whether the cause of that failure lies at the door of a colonial mindset in the Foreign Office, a failed land transfer policy, the collective weakness of the Commonwealth, a cowardly African political elite or simply the corrupt thuggery of Mugabe himself will be a matter of dispute for generations.

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Read More How UK's foreign policy efforts to dislodge Mugabe ended in failure

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