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Goff welcomes UN report on Zimbabwe

23 July 2005

Goff welcomes UN report on Zimbabwe

Foreign Minister Phil Goff has welcomed what he describes as a hard-hitting report on Zimbabwe by United Nations Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka

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"The report not only confirms what critics of the Mugabe regime, including New Zealand, have been saying; it goes even further.

"UN Secretary General Kofi Anna describes 'Operation Murambatsvina' as a 'catastrophic injustice' for as many as 700,000 of Zimbabwe's poorest citizens, 'through indiscriminate actions carried out with disquieting indifference to human suffering'.

"It is time for those in the international community who have not used their voices and pressure to force change from the Mugabe regime to do so.

"Zimbabwe cannot resist the combined demands of its neighbours and the United Nations Security Council, backed by the international community, to reverse the political and human rights abuses that are taking place.

"New Zealand joins with the Special Envoy and the UN Secretary General in demanding that the forced evictions and demolitions are stopped immediately.

"New Zealand also shares the Secretary General's views that those responsible should be held to account for their actions.

"Zimbabwe must be pressed to allow access for humanitarian workers. New Zealand will continue to help efforts to relieve the plight of the malnourished and the dispossessed through UN agencies such as Unicef and the World Food Programme.

"However this is a man-made crisis and the regime that is responsible for causing it must be forced to end their actions if relief assistance is to be properly effective.

"New Zealand will continue its active diplomacy with like-minded countries such as Australia, the UK, and Canada to press in every international forum for actions that will compel the Mugabe regime to reverse its destructive and repressive policies," Mr Goff said.

ENDS


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