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Bush Names Zimbabwe Among Laggards in Democracy

President George Bush in his State of the Union address Tuesday said Zimbabwe was one of several countries whose people do not enjoy democracy.

"At the start of 2006, more than half the people of our world live in democratic nations, and we do not forget the other half, in places like Syria and Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea and Iran, because the demands of justice and the peace of this world require their freedom as well," Mr. Bush told a House chamber packed with senators, congressmen, cabinet members, diplomats and other guests.

Zimbabwean State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa dismissed the accusation and in an interview with Internet news outlet ZimOnline said that the U.S. president was a "warmonger" and "bully" who could not be allowed to "tarnish the image of paragons of peace and democracy like President (Robert) Mugabe."

Zimbabwe might take on a higher profile now that the United States has assumed the revolving presidency of the U.N. Security Council, political analysts said.

International Crisis Group Africa Program Director Suliman Baldo, a native of Sudan, told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that the situation in Zimbabwe as in Sudan's Darfur region, reflects "the failure of our rulers that is making of Africa across the board the provider of the largest number of refugees and the internally displaced."

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...