Search

 

Cablegate: Civil Society Criticizes Gra's Zimbabwe Diplomacy

VZCZCXRO6325
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLU #0466 1630914
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 110914Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4844
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS LUANDA 000466

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM AO
SUBJECT: CIVIL SOCIETY CRITICIZES GRA'S ZIMBABWE DIPLOMACY

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Representatives of Angolan civil society,
intelligentsia, and political parties condemned the GRA's
failure to take a strong public stance against human rights
violations in Zimbabwe during a June 10th conference on
"Democracy and the Respect for Human Rights in Zimbabwe."
Conference organizers called for political parties to
pressure the government for information and action, and are
also planning a public demonstration. While unlikely to
change the GRA's stance, holding such conferences is a sign
of growth and confidence within Angolan civil society. END
SUMMARY

2. (SBU) The June 10th conference was organized by the Human
Rights Coordination Council (CCDH), an umbrella organization
of Angolan human rights NGOs, and the Association for
Justice, Peace and Democracy (AJPD). Conference attendees
included representatives from Angolan civil society,
opposition parties UNITA, FNLA, and FpD, the Angolan Armed
Forces, religious and traditional leaders, and the British,
Portuguese, and Russian Embassies.

"Diplomacy of Silence" Condemned
--------------------------------

3. (SBU) Conference presenter Mario Pinto de Andrade, a
high-profile MPLA member and international relations
professor, strongly criticized the Angolan government's
diplomatic approach to the crisis in Zimbabwe. De Andrade
opined that Zimbabwe is in a lose-lose situation, in which
neither side is likely to accept the other's victory. De
Andrade bluntly stated Zimbabwe is careening towards a civil
war, and no one is doing anything about it.

4. (SBU) While defending the GRA's sovereign right to conduct
foreign policy as it sees fit - a foreign policy described as
fully backing the ZANU-PF - De Andrade criticized the GRA's
use of "silent diplomacy" in the face of actions that violate
SADC and AU human rights charters and regional security
concerns. As an example De Andrade stated that Angola, as
the head of SADC's Peace and Security Organ, should have
taken a strong stand and publicly insisted on a peaceful
transition of power when Zimbabwean security forces stated
they would not accept an MDC victory. During the
wide-ranging Q&A, the GRA was frequently criticized for its
"diplomacy of silence" vis-a-vis Zim.

Pro-Democracy Demonstration Planned
------------------------------------

5. (SBU) AJPD and the CCDH are planning a public
demonstration in support of democracy and human rights in
Zimbabwe for Friday, June 13th. AJPD also called for
opposition parties and civil society organizations to
exercise their right to demand that the GRA divulge more
information on its generally closed-door diplomatic outreach
to Zimbabwe. A representative from the Zimbabwe Social
Forum, an organization of South African-based Zimbabwean
ex-pats, also spoke on the reality of his country's social
and political situation, and the potential role SADC could
play in negotiating a national reconciliation government
shared by ZANU-PF and the MDC.

Concern for Angolan Elections
-----------------------------

6. (SBU) COMMENT: While the GRA has to date declined to
discuss its Zimbabwe policy with civil society, the fact that
a group could openly discuss the policy is a positive step in
the development of Angolan civil society. Angolan civil
society and opposition parties are clearly concerned by the
GRA's failure to publicly condemn what is happening in
Zimbabwe, and is worried that SADC's silence in Zimbabwe will
be repeated should problems arise in Angola's electoral
process. END COMMENT
FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC