Posted by: APO | 21 April 2008

ZIMBABWE / UN’s Ban Ki-moon remarks to the press following meeting with Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe

SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON’S REMARKS

FOLLOWING HIS MEETING

IN ACCRA WITH MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, LEADER OF THE MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE IN ZIMBABWE

Accra, Ghana, 21 April 2008

SG: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen of the media.

Upon completion of my participation in the twelfth UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XII), I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Government of Ghana for the warm hospitality and the excellent arrangements to make this UNCTAD XII meeting more successful.

This afternoon, upon the request of Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) leader of Zimbabwe, I met him for about half an hour. He complained about the current political situation after the Presidential elections, where the results have not been released, even after three weeks.  He briefed me on the current political, social and humanitarian situation.  He told me that the military had been deployed around the country terrorizing people, and therefore many people had been running away from their homes and hiding somewhere, which had in turn created a very serious humanitarian situation.

He said that this situation is not acceptable and since the situation is now beyond the capacity of SADC, the Southern African Development Community, he asked me as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in close coordination with the African Union, should intervene and provide the necessary humanitarian assistance and also prevent this violence that is taking place, so that they can restore peace and stability in their country.

Upon hearing his complaint and briefing on the situation, I have expressed my deep concern about the post-electoral situation where the results of the Presidential elections have not been officially announced.  I also expressed my deep concern about this continuing situation, where violence and polarization have now been prevalent, and I asked him to resort to peaceful means to resolve this issue, through dialogue.

I told him that since the African Union has mandated the situation to SADC, and upon reflecting on his request, I told him that I will be discussing the issue with leaders of the African Union. Upon my return to New York, I am going to discuss this matter so that the international community will be able to facilitate, so that this situation could be resolved through peaceful means.

Again, at this time, I would like to urge the authorities of the Zimbabwean Government to release officially the results of the Presidential elections and resolve this political deadlock through peaceful means, so that the people of Zimbabwe should not be made to pay for their choice which they have exercised in the polling stations.

I thank you very much.

Q:  Are you going to make any contact with [African Union President Jakaya] Kikwete, [South African President] Thabo Mbeki to resolve the issue?

SG: I am going to discuss this matter with the President of the African Union, President Kikwete, and the African Commission Chairman, [Alpha Oumar Konare].

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