|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
By Alix Kroeger
Saddam has rejected the idea of exile
The president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Ben Sultan al-Nahyan, has issued an appeal for Saddam Hussein to resign and leave Iraq.
He made his statement at the Arab summit meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Last week the Iraqi leader, in an interview with American television, rejected any suggestion that he might go into exile, vowing instead to die in his country.
But if he did decide to seek asylum, how might he fare?
A look at the fate of some other world leaders who have faced the same choice could be helpful for Saddam.
When war or revolution looms, asylum can begin to look like an attractive option to a leader under pressure.
Mobutu Sese Seko, president of what was then Zaire, chose Morocco when he was forced out of power in 1997.
He had looted millions from his country, now renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo.
But Morocco was merely a staging post - Mr Mobutu had properties in France, where he died a few months later.
France has offered asylum to other ousted leaders: the self-styled Emperor Bokassa, of the Central African Republic, accused of cannibalism, as well as the more customary offences of graft and corruption.
France also took Baby Doc Duvalier of Haiti, who has for the past 17 years led a life of quiet luxury in Paris.
However, there are other destinations: Idi Amin of Uganda is in Saudi Arabia, while Haile Mengistu Mariam of Ethiopia is in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.
Imelda Marcos returned to the Philippines
The latter also has the option of fleeing to North Korea, if Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is toppled in turn.
And Paraguay's former military leader, General Stroessner, obtained political asylum in Brazil after he was ousted in 1989.
Some try to make a comeback.
Imelda Marcos of the Philippines and her husband, President Ferdinand Marcos, were peacefully removed from office by "people power."
They fled to Hawaii, where Mr Marcos died in 1989.
Imelda Marcos - notorious for her thousands of pairs of shoes - returned to the Philippines, standing unsuccessfully for president herself in 1992.
She remains free while she appeals against several convictions for corruption.
Other leaders refuse to see the writing on the wall.
In October 2000, Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia turned down an offer of asylum from Belarus.
Instead, he was forced out of office a few days later, arrested the following spring and is now on trial for war crimes in the Hague.