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Zimbabwe Briefing Issue 51
in Zimbabwe Coalition
(SA Regional Office)
November 09, 2011
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SADC Must Urgently Deploy Peacekeepers to Zim
ZANU-PF militia groups against the MDC and its perceived supporters
is on the rise across the country in the clearest indication yet
that the inclusive
government has failed to restore the rule of law, including
the dismantling of the infrastructure of violence. The Southern
African Development Community (SADC) must now swiftly deploy a team
of peacekeepers to Zimbabwe to prevent violence and intimidation.
of SADC peacekeepers for Zimbabwe is urgent and necessary because
the political leadership of the police remains extremely politicized
and partisan towards ZANU-PF and unwilling to hold accountable the
perpetrators of violence and other abuses. If Zimbabwe had an independent
and professional police force the problem of political violence
would not exist because the police has the necessary means to enforce
law and order. It is the political will that is lacking. SADC can
no longer continue to preach peace in Zimbabwe without taking active,
positive steps to affirmatively enforce that peace.
to president Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party's unwillingness
to institute fundamental reforms, Zimbabwe has failed to ensure
that the next elections will be free and fair, to provide justice
for victims of abuses or to create a viable roadmap that will pave
the way towards a genuine transition to a free, democratic and open
society. The shaky inclusive government is faced with imminent collapse.
Within the framework of mediation over the Zimbabwe Peace Process,
SADC must, beyond the deployment of Organ Troika on Defence, Politics
and Security Cooperation monitors, insist on an urgent deployment
of peacekeepers to keep the spotlight on the country and prevent
state sponsored violence.
violence from the ZANU-PF militia group - Chipangano -
forced the MDC-T to abandon its rally scheduled for Chibuku stadium
in Chitungwiza. The violence left scores of MDC supporters nursing
injuries. The police who had cleared the rally did not provide security,
nor did they take any steps to arrest those responsible for the
violence. This senseless violence must stop. SADC cannot continue
to engage in endless talks that yield no practical results that
translate into human security for ordinary Zimbabweans who have
suffered for so long under the yoke of oppression.
was partly due to SADC efforts, and due to resistance from within,
that ZANU-PF was unable to force elections in 2011. Zimbabwe remains
unprepared to hold genuinely free and fair elections where violence
and intimidation play no part. And yet president Mugabe and ZANU-PF
are now ratcheting up the rhetoric again and talking about holding
elections in early 2012. Zimbabweans have lost all faith in the
ability of the police to enforce peace and arrest perpetrators of
serious human rights abuses. SADC must now step up to the plate
and be counted.
of SADC peacekeepers across the country would immediately send a
bold message to ZANU-PF's infrastructure of violence that
the region is not going to fold its hands and watch this senseless
and endless violence. The physical presence of SADC peacekeepers
would be a key confidence building measure and would enable the
people of Zimbabwe to vote freely with the knowledge that a measure
of protection will come, not from a partisan police force, but from
SADC peacekeepers. This may be the only way to secure peace and
the security of the voter and the vote.
any other African institution, may be struggling for funds, but
I am sure the international community will be more than willing
to put resources together to fund a mechanism to guarantee peace.
The African Union and the United Nations may then be approached
as well to contribute human and financial resources to the SADC
peacekeeping force for Zimbabwe. Otherwise of what use is SADC to
the people of Zimbabwe if not to provide such practical means to
It is no longer
possible that change will come to Zimbabwe through sterile summits
and endless talk-shops. Now is the time for positive action in support
of all peace-loving Zimbabweans.
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in Zimbabwe fact
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