African Union Governments: Demand the Restoration of Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights in Zimbabwe.
On 29th March 2008 Zimbabweans voted in parliamentary and presidential elections. These elections were neither free nor fair. Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF intimidated voters and hampered campaigning by the opposition. Despite this, ZANU PF lost its majority in the House of Assembly. Since then a campaign of terror and impunity is being used to intimidate voters while the government is freely manipulating the electoral process and flouting legal norms. There is an urgent need for African Union leadership to end the Zimbabwe crisis. Zimbabwe can be helped back onto a positive path, but African human rights and democratic standards must be restored if the region is not to be at risk of conflict and insecurity.
We call upon the African Union, the Southern African Development Community and the United Nations to adopt a call that demands the following:
- An immediate end to State sponsored violence against civilians and the protection of the Zimbabwean people;
- Survivors and victims of violence to receive immediate medical, humanitarian and legal aid;
- Unrestricted humanitarian aid be allowed into the country to meet these needs;
- The African Union to send a team of Eminent Persons to Zimbabwe to investigate the violence, and work towards ending the political crisis;
- SADC under the direction of the African Union to ensures that an environment which allows for a free and fair presidential election free from violence, intimidation, free campaigning by all parties exists before and during the presidential run off;
- African and international human rights monitors, election observers and monitors are freely admitted to the country, allowed to travel freely and assess and report on conditions. The electoral observers and monitors must be composed of a large number of skilled electoral experts, with high standing in their countries and on the continent;
- The electoral observers and monitors must remain in Zimbabwe to observe the counting and the announcement of the result;
- The Zimbabwe Electoral Commissions runs and manages the forthcoming presidential elections in an impartial manner as is expected of its obligations under Zimbabwe constitutional and electoral laws;
- That in the event of an electoral dispute where one candidate refuses to accept the result of the run-off, the African Union take the lead in negotiating or mediating the impasse to reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe.
We demand that the African Union and the United Nations live up to their responsibility to protect the people of Zimbabwe.
Published on May 22, 2008 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization