Posted by: APO | 28 June 2008

Zimbabwe / Isolate Mugabe Starting with African Union Summit

Zimbabwe / Isolate Mugabe Starting with African Union Summit


HARARE, Zimbabwe, June 27, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Freedom House urges the African Union to lead a global effort to exclude Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe from regional and international bodies, starting with Monday’s African Union summit in Egypt. Mugabe has vowed to attend the summit which comes just days after he held a one-party presidential runoff election marked by widespread violence targeted at opposition party leaders and supporters.


“With these sham elections, Mugabe defiantly squandered whatever good will and legitimacy he had left on the continent,” said Jennifer Windsor, Freedom House executive director. “The African Union can set a powerful precedent and send a clear message of hope to the people of Zimbabwe by isolating Mugabe and pushing for his swift exit from the country’s political arena.”


Such action would be consistent with the African Union’s mandate to promote “democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance” and uphold the organization’s credibility on the African continent.  


The African Union should send a high-level mediator, backed by peacekeeping forces, to negotiate a transitional government, which would create conditions for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.


“It is time to match words of condemnation with deeds that will send a clear message to Mugabe’s murderous regime,” said Windsor. “It is unacceptable to sit idly by watching Mugabe’s cronies tabulate ballots while Zimbabwe’s people count their dead, their wounded and their meager food supplies. African and international leaders cannot allow one man to decimate the lives of millions in the name of his own vain political pursuits.”

Zimbabwe is ranked Not Free in the 2008 edition of Freedom in the World, Freedom House’s survey of political rights and civil liberties, and in the 2008 version of Freedom of the Press.


SOURCE : Freedom House


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