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Zimbabwe's First and Deputy First Ministers

Zimbabwe's 'First and Deputy First Ministers' Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai seem about as comfortable in their power-sharing deal as our own current incumbents Robinson and McGuinness.

The former face the mightier challenge by far. Despite the Prime Minister's intervention at Stormont on Wednesday, our local political leaders are still struggling with the relatively trifling decision of when to devolve policing and justice (I'll return to this topic another day). Zimbabwe's counterparts have to somehow reach a political solution to the continued operation of torture camps, the imprisonment of hundreds of MDC supporters, the future control of state security forces and the delivery of justice to the many who have suffered gross human rights abuses.

Right now, it has to be said, the prospects don't look good. But a political start has been made. The longest journey begins with the first step and the power-sharing deal should be seen as just that – a potential end to the bloodshed of recent years and a potential new dawn for justice in Zimbabwe.

What can we do?

In Northern Ireland we know that real peace does not simply flow from the nib of pen on political paperwork. Experience would suggest constant internal vigilance and ongoing external pressure / encouragement are both necessary. 

As Amnesty campaigners, our priority must be to ensure justice doesn't play second fiddle to political expediency (now, where have I come across that prospect before?).

As citizens of the world, let us not to relent in our pressure on our own government, on the EU, the SADC and the UN to deploy carrot and stick in support of our fellow citizens in Zimbabwe. Amnesty can help you keep track and take action.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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