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Zimbabwe: More than 200 groups make unprecedented call on AU and UN to act

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As the human rights situation in Zimbabwe deteriorates, with more than 300,000 people now evicted from their homes by the government, a coalition of more than 200 African and international NGOs today issued an unprecedented Joint Appeal to the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) to help the people of Zimbabwe.

Strongly condemning the mass forced evictions, the coalition of organisations urged Nigerian President Obasanjo, as Chair of the AU, to put the crisis in Zimbabwe on the agenda of the upcoming AU Assembly, scheduled to take place in Libya on 4 - 5 July.

The coalition also noted the appointment of a UN Special Envoy to investigate the destruction and evictions, and called on relevant bodies at the UN, including the Secretary-General, to publicly condemn the ongoing mass violations and take effective action to stop them.

A representative of the coalition said:

"The appointment of a UN Special Envoy to investigate the mass violations taking place in Zimbabwe is welcome.

"But effective action must also be taken immediately to help those already sleeping on the streets beside the rubble of their homes, and to ensure that the evictions and demolitions stop immediately.

"The AU and UN simply cannot ignore such an unprecedented, wide-ranging appeal on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe, particularly from African civil society.

"African solidarity should be with the people of Africa - not their repressive leaders."

Amongst the human rights and civic groups signing the Joint Appeal are:

  • Zimbabwean Lawyers for Human Rights
  • Inter Africa Network for Human Rights (AFRONET)
  • Amnesty International
  • Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)
  • International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute
  • International Crisis Group

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