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Operation Murambatsvina - Countrywide evictions of urban poor - Index of articles
UN, worried by Zimbabwe demolition, weighs action
July 19, 2005
original document on Reuters website
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is
"increasingly concerned" by Zimbabwe's demolition of houses
in poor urban areas and preparing a plan for U.N. action, a spokeswoman
said on Monday.
The U.N. comment
came days after Annan's special envoy, Anna Tibaijuka, wrapped up
a visit to Zimbabwe to investigate the situation. Tibaijuka is the
executive director of Nairobi-based UN-HABITAT, the U.N. Human Settlements
In a two-month
crackdown, Zimbabwe's police have been razing shacks and unregistered
stalls and workshops declared to be illegal in poverty-stricken
Mugabe's government has said the demolitions were meant to clean
up Zimbabwe's cities and flush out crime and illegal trading in
foreign currency and other commodities in short supply.
But aid agencies
say the operation has left at least 300,000 people homeless and
Annan was "increasingly
concerned by the human rights and humanitarian impact of the recent
demolitions of what the government of Zimbabwe has called illegal
settlements," U.N. spokeswoman Marie Okabe said.
will soon receive Tibaijuka's report on her investigation "and
will study its contents to determine the next steps for the United
Nations," Okabe said.
Zimbabwe would be given 48 hours to respond to the U.N. report's
findings before they were issued, Okabe said.
on Monday, Sweden said the European Union was weighing sanctions
against those responsible for the crackdown, such as barring them
from entering the EU or freezing any of their assets held within
the 25-nation bloc.
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