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Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign
of the arrest of Zimbabwean Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai
Tony Leon, Democratic Alliance (South Africa)
March 12, 2007
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The arrest and
detention yesterday [Sunday] of [Zimbabwean Opposition] Movement
for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai should serve as a
final wake call to President Mbeki that he simply cannot afford
continue with a business as usual approach to dealing with the growing
crisis in Zimbabwe.
The South Africa
government needs to immediately condemn this latest crackdown on
a legitimate democratic protest and call for the immediate release
of Mr Tsvangirai.
arrest is a complete negation of the multi-party approach which
President Mbeki has held up to the world as a solution to the crisis
in Zimbabwe. If we fail to act and to speak out, then it will become
clear to the international community that the South African government's
policy of "silent diplomacy" is nothing more than "quiet
needs to send the message that the government of Zimbabwe will be
held accountable for any injuries caused to Mr Tsvangirai or to
the group of up to a 100 people who were arrested yesterday.
arrest and alleged beating at the hands of the Zimbabwean security
forces is another in a long list of examples of brutal and unwarranted
attacks on its own citizens by the Mugabe regime. This incident,
combined with its total ban on any public demonstrations, is the
clearest indication yet that the Mugabe government is becoming increasingly
desperate in its attempts to cling to power.
policy of quiet diplomacy has yielded little or no progress in resolving
the impasse in Zimbabwe. In fact, every commitment President Mbeki
has made to a number of international actors, including US President
George W Bush, about an imminent resolution of the conflict has
failed to come to fruition.
It is now clear
that President Mbeki has all but given up trying to resolve the
conflict. This is an extraordinary derogation of duty by the region's
most significant power, the disastrous consequences of which are
being felt by both Zimbabweans and South Africans everyday.
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