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Groups petition Obasanjo over displaced persons in Zimbabwe

Posted by By Innocent Anaba on 2005/06/23 | Views: 233 |

Groups petition Obasanjo over displaced persons in Zimbabwe


A COALITION of civil society groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Nigeria and Zimbabwe, yesterday, called on President Olusegun Obasanjo as chairman of the African Union (AU)..

A COALITION of civil society groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Nigeria and Zimbabwe, yesterday, called on President Olusegun Obasanjo as chairman of the African Union (AU) to urgently intervene in the forceful eviction of tens of thousands of traders and families in some settlements in Zimbabwe by President Robert Mugabe.

Addressing journalists in Lagos, as part of the NGOs' campaign against the displacement of Zimbabweans by the destruction of their settlements, representatives of Amnesty International; Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights; Centre on Housing rights and Eviction; and Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), jointly called on President Obasanjo, as the AU chairman and the United Nations (UN) to prevail on president Mugabe to halt to displacement of his people.

The press briefing, which took place simultaneously in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Namibia, called on world leaders to call Mugabe to order.

In Lagos, the civil rights groups said, “noting the grave concern, the deepening humanitarian and human rights crisis in Zimbabwe, 150 African and international human rights and civil groups have come together to call on the AU and UN to take action.”

According to the group, “Over the past four weeks, the government of Zimbabwe has orchestrated widespread forced eviction of tens of thousands of informal traders and families living in informal settlements.

"During these forced evictions, homes have been burnt and property destroyed. Many individuals have been arbitrarily arrested, detained, fined, abducted and/or beaten. Such actions continues unabated and with impunity.”

“Tens of thousands of people are now living in open, during winter, without access to adequate shelter, foods or clean water. No care has been shown for these people, many of whom are vulnerable. Thousands of children, the elderly and the ill face the prospect of disease and in some cases, death from hunger, exposure and drinking unsafe water. Some of the most vulnerable are dying already,”



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