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Cablegate: Guidance for Security Council Meeting On Zimbabwe

VZCZCXRO4284
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHC #6451 1721308
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 201308Z JUN 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 2249
INFO SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 2643

UNCLAS STATE 066451

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL PHUM ZI XA ZU
SUBJECT: GUIDANCE FOR SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON ZIMBABWE

1. This is an action request. USUN may draw from the
talking points in para 2 below during the UNSC formal meeting
on the situation in Zimbabwe. USUN should also draw on these
points in speaking to the press after the meeting.
2. Begin talking points:

-- We appreciate (Under Secretary General Pascoe,s) briefing
on the worsening situation in Zimbabwe. We are appalled by
the downward spiral in the welfare of the Zimbabwean people
as a result of government-sanctioned violence against
opposition leaders and supporters and the government
restrictions on humanitarian operations. With that in mind,
I would like to make the following four points on the
situation in Zimbabwe:

-- First, the Government of Zimbabwe must immediately end all
violence directed against opposition leaders and supporters
so that the June 27 election can truly represent the will of
the Zimbabwean people. The escalating violence and
intimidation is seriously jeopardizing any hope of free and
fair elections. Since the March 29 election, there have been
at least 3,000 attacks, 54 murders, 200 missing people, over
25,000 people displaced, and 3,000 injured victims who have
required medical treatment.

-- We are deeply concerned that the government,s crackdown
is increasingly targeting opposition leadership. On June 12,
presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai was twice detained
by police while attempting to campaign, bringing to four his
total number of detentions in eight days. On June 12,
Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) Secretary General Tendai
Biti was arrested upon his return to Zimbabwe from South
Africa and charged with treason, in addition to the already
pending charges against him of communicating statements
prejudicial to the State. He continues to be held
incommunicado. We are greatly concerned about the poor
conditions of Mr. Biti,s detention and urge his immediate
release pending resolution of those charges.

-- At least eight MDC Members of Parliament have been
arrested or detained in the aftermath of the March 29
national elections in which the combined opposition won a
majority of seats in parliament. Women, children, and the
elderly relatives of MDC officials have also been singled out
for beatings and even death in an ongoing attempt to
intimidate would-be MDC voters and shake the foundations of
the party's infrastructure. Without an immediate, major
shift in the current environment, chances for a free and fair
June electoral contest are remote.

-- We also note with grave concern statements by Robert
Mugabe that he and his political party would not respect an
opposition victory on June 27, instead promising even greater
violence against the Zimbabwean people. This threat should
be retracted and the Government of Zimbabwe made to pledge to
the Southern African Development Community,
the African Union, and other observers that it will abide by
electoral results counted in a transparent manner in the
presence of electoral observers.


-- Second, the Government of Zimbabwe should immediately lift
its directive suspending the humanitarian operations of
non-governmental organizations so that humanitarian aid can
reach those in need regardless of their political views.
Several million people, including orphans, vulnerable people,
and those infected with HIV/AIDS, will suffer if emergency
food distribution is suspended.

-- Third, the crisis in Zimbabwe affects not only the welfare
of the Zimbabwean people, but the well-being and stability of
Zimbabwe,s neighbors. The Zimbabwean government's economic
and political decisions have caused an exodus of Zimbabweans
fleeing economic collapse and political unrest. People of
Mozambican and Malawian origins living and working in
Zimbabwe have in many cases been forced to return to their
countries.

-- Fourth, we support the efforts of the Southern African
Development Community and African Union leaders, as well as
the UN Secretary General to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe
during this critical transition period and beyond. It will
take the political commitment of the entire international
community to help Zimbabwe,s people before and after the
June 27 election so that, while they can take pride in their
history, they can also begin to look forward to a better
future.
RICE

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