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civil society groups take on Zimbabwe Crisis
Society Consultation on Zimbabwe - August 5-6, 2003
August 07, 2003
the concluding statement
- Today, the African Civil Society Consultation Meeting on
Zimbabwe, represented by civil society groups from Zimbabwe, Botswana,
South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia and Kenya, issued a statement
condemning the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe
and called for urgent action by regional governments and institutions,
as well as the international community, to end serious human rights
violations in the country.
organized jointly by DITSHWANELO – the Botswana Centre for Human
Rights, and the US-based Lawyers Committee for Human Rights took
place over two days in Gaborone. Among the participants were representatives
of regional human rights organizations, trade unions, church groups,
women’s organizations and youth groups.
to demanding that the government of Zimbabwe immediately bring an
end to all human rights violations in the country, the participants
called, among other things, for SADC countries to examine the compliance
of the Zimbabwe authorities with the provisions of the Windhoek
and Harare Declarations, and called on the AU Commission to issue
a public statement condemning the human rights violations in Zimbabwe.
urged that Zimbabwe’s suspension from the Commonwealth should continue
until its government takes concrete steps to restore the rule of
law, respect for human rights and holds perpetrators of human rights
violations accountable. The participants also demanded that the
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights should make its
report on the June 2002 fact finding mission to Zimbabwe public
at its next session in Banjul in October 2003.
the Director of DITSHWANELO, said "the Consultation was an
extremely important occasion for us, the civil society groups, to
jointly express our concern about the human rights crisis in Zimbabwe,
and call upon our governments and regional bodies to take a stronger
position in addressing that crisis. Until now, there has not been
a meeting involving so many different civil society groups, from
so many countries in the region which has focused on the Zimbabwean
rights advocate Archbishop Pius Ncube of Zimbabwe said "this
meeting with our colleagues from the region has helped immensely
to strengthen us in our struggle for respect for basic rights in
Committee for Human Rights
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– The Botswana Centre For
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