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New Zealand calls for an end to Zimbabwe violence

New Zealand calls for an end to Zimbabwe violence

New Zealand is adding its voice to international calls for an immediate end to state-sponsored violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today.

"It's essential that international monitors be allowed into Zimbabwe to deter further violence and to monitor the second round of voting for the presidency, scheduled to take place on 27 June," Mr Peters said.

"The New Zealand government has been closely following events in Zimbabwe since the disputed elections in March.

"President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party appears to have been conducting a deliberate campaign of violence in a final attempt to overturn the results of the elections, in which Mugabe was defeated but allegedly not by a wide enough margin to prevent a second round of voting.

"The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights has reported assaults on more than 900 people who voted for the opposition - the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - while the Zimbabwe Peace Project has documented more than 4000 cases of human rights abuses since March.

"There are also reports from a number of different sources that 43 MDC supporters have been killed in violence linked to ZANU-PF.

"Attacks have also been directed against the Zimbabwe Election Support Network.

"These attacks must end. Unless the violence stops it will be very difficult to hold the second round of voting, and the result will be an election that is neither free nor fair," Mr Peters said.


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