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Zimbabwe Created Its own Crises

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  • jan@webs.co.za
    From: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org [Of course. But when will Zimbabweans solve it? Jan] Johannesburg - Zimbabwe s government refuses to help hundreds of thousands of
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2005
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      From: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org
      [Of course. But when will Zimbabweans solve it? Jan]

      Johannesburg - Zimbabwe's government refuses to help hundreds of
      thousands of people displaced by its forced eviction campaign and has
      obstructed relief efforts by humanitarian agencies, said Human Rights
      Watch on Thursday.

      The 61-page report documents the government's denial of protection and
      help to the displaced and criticises the international community and
      relief agencies for not doing enough to ease a crisis triggered by
      Zimbabwe's forced eviction campaign in May and June.

      Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has denied any humanitarian crisis
      resulted from a campaign he says was necessary to clean up his cities. He
      said all those affected would be resettled in better housing.

      "The Zimbabwean government has created a humanitarian crisis in which
      hundreds of thousands of people are living without food, water or
      shelter," Peter Takirambudde, the Africa director for Human Rights Watch
      said.

      'They have abandoned people'

      "Not only have the Zimbabwean authorities refused to acknowledge the
      crisis, they have abandoned the men, women and children they forcibly
      evicted from their homes." he added.

      Without warning, Zimbabwean security forces burned, bulldozed and
      destroyed the homes of people living in informal settlements in urban
      centres and destroyed the kiosks of informal vendors during May and June.


      Anna Tibaijuka, the UN Special Envoy dispatched to Zimbabwe to assess the
      situation, estimated 700 000 people had lost their homes, their jobs or
      both in the campaign she called a clear violation of international law.
      She estimated 570 000 people had been displaced.

      Human Rights Watch said that six months after evictions ended, hundreds
      of thousands of displaced Zimbabweans still live outdoors, in rudimentary
      shelters made from the debris of destroyed houses or squeezed into tiny
      rooms with relatives who have agreed to house them.

      Lance Lattig, a spokesperson for Human Rights Watch, said UN agencies,
      The African Union, and donors have been "reluctant to confront the
      government over its blatant disregard of the human rights of the
      displaced and protest the continued obstruction of humanitarian
      assistance."

      The report said the government had deliberately obstructed efforts by the
      UN, relief groups and donor countries to provide food, water and shelter
      to the displaced.

      The Zimbabwean government initially refused UN offers to provide
      temporary shelters for families made homeless by the campaign, saying it
      wanted permanent structures.

      Later, though, it agreed the UN could build 2 500 shelters.

      Lattig said the international community needs to put more pressure on
      Zimbabwe.

      "We are not dealing with a tsunami here. The government is the source of
      these massive human rights violations," he said.

      Tiseki Kasambala, one of the authors of the report, said Mugabe seems to
      be strengthening his hold on power at a time when the political
      opposition in Zimbabwe is beset by infighting.

      Source: News24.com
      URL:

      http://www.news24.com/News24/Africa/Zimbabwe/0,,2-11-1662_1843821,00.html
      [Posted by: Regular]
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