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Operation Murambatsvina - Countrywide evictions of urban poor - Index of articles
Forum statement on the "Operation Murambatsvina" report
by the UN special Envoy on Human Settlement Issues in Zimbabwe
Rights NGO Forum
July 26, 2005
Human Rights NGO Forum welcomes the timeous publication of the report
on the recent "Operation Murambatsvina" (Restore Order)
by the UN Special Envoy and her team. The Report records the effects
of the humanitarian disaster inflicted on the poorest and most vulnerable
sections of the population in the height of winter and purportedly
in the interests of arresting disorderly or chaotic urbanization,
reversing inappropriate urban agricultural practices and stopping
illegal foreign currency dealings.
General of the United Nations himself describes "Operation
Murambatsvina" as a "catastrophic injustice carried out
indiscriminately and with disquieting indifference to human suffering".
In her "profoundly distressing report", the Envoy records
that the Operation "render (ed) people homeless and economically
destitute on an unprecedented scale" and that "in addition
to the already significant pre-existing humanitarian needs, additional
needs have been generated on a large scale particularly in the shelter,
water, sanitation and health sectors"
was carried out in a military fashion by armed police and the Army
with minimal notification from the authorities and in contravention
of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Zimbabwe is a signatory.
Credible reports indicate that evictions are continuing in certain
areas and that displaced persons are being harassed by the police
700 000 people in cities across the country lost either their homes,
their source of livelihood or both", which has indirectly "affected
2.4 million people in varying degrees"
While the Zimbabwe
Government is said to have permitted unfettered access by the Mission
to all areas, its response to the report has been characteristically
critical, dismissive and accusatorial.
The Human Rights
Forum would like to congratulate the Mission on the speed with which
the exhaustive report was prepared and the sincerity and professionalism
with which the Envoy and her team conducted their wide and energetic
consultations with all stakeholders in Zimbabwe.
The Human Rights
Forum calls on the Government to implement the recommendations of
the Report with the utmost urgency in order to address the humanitarian
crisis "Operation Murambatsvina" has left in its wake.
Visit the Zimbabwe
Human Rights NGO Forum fact
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