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Cablegate: Unsc Concerned About Zimbabwe's Detention Of

VZCZCXRO2598
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBZ RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHDU RUEHFL RUEHGI RUEHIK
RUEHJO RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHPOD RUEHRN
RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHTRO RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #0499 1580025
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 060025Z JUN 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4388
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000499

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

AF AND IO FOR FRONT OFFICE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNSC ZI KDEM
SUBJECT: UNSC CONCERNED ABOUT ZIMBABWE'S DETENTION OF
DIPLOMATS

REF: OP CENTER-USUN EMAILS 06/05/08

1. (U) SUMMARY: USUN convened emergency Security Council
consultations on June 5 to discuss the illegal detention and
harassment of U.S. and British diplomatic personnel in
Zimbabwe. Security Council delegations agreed to elements of
an oral press statement expressing concern about the incident
in the context of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic
Relations. END SUMMARY.

--------------------------------
USUN Convenes Emergency UNSC
Consultations on Mazowe Incident
--------------------------------

2. (U) USUN called for emergency Security Council
consultations on June 5 to discuss the detention and
intimidation of U.S. and UK diplomatic personnel by
government forces and mob elements at a roadblock outside the
town of Mazowe, Zimbabwe (reftel). USUN POL MinCounselor
briefed the Council on the incident in coordination with UKUN
D/PermRep Karen Pierce. He emphasized that the incident,
which is a violation of international conventions regarding
the obligation to protect diplomatic personnel and property,
came in the context of ongoing attempts by the Government of
Zimbabwe (GOZ) to use violence to intimidate opposition
figures in the lead up to the June 27 runoff elections. In
connection with the briefing, USUN and UKUN suggested that
the Security Council president (currently the U.S.) deliver a
brief statement to the media expressing the Security
Council's concern about the illegal detention of diplomatic
personnel and the associated climate of violence.

---------------------
South Africa Suggests
U.S./U.K. to Blame
---------------------

3. (U) South African D/PermRep Baso Sangqu said his
delegation could not support a formal statement on the June 5
incident because his delegation did not yet have detailed
information. He also suggested a briefing by the Secretariat
might be helpful in this regard. Further, Sangqu said there
were some indications from media reports and official
Zimbabwean statements that some diplomatic personnel may have
been "involved in activities outside of their accreditation."
Burkina Faso, Libya, Russia and China concurred that members
of the Security Council should take a cautious approach and
not issue a formal statement on the incident until
delegations had a chance to assemble more information.

4. (U) UK DPR Pierce and USUN POL MinCounselor responded that
any suggestion that U.S. and UK diplomatic personnel were
involved in illegal activities was "categorically false" and
all delegations on the Security Council had a stake in
speaking out against violations of the Vienna Convention.
France, Croatia, Belgium, Costa Rica, Panama and Italy
expressed strong support for an immediate Council reaction.
After further discussion, French Counselor de Riviere
suggested that the presidency make brief remarks to the press
on the matter. Indonesian D/PermRep Hasan Kleib supported
this approach and Council members agreed on elements
including expressing concern about the incident and the need
to uphold the Vienna Convention in particular the protection
of diplomats and their property. UKUN called for the
Security Council to take up wider consultations on the issue
of Zimbabwe at the earliest opportunity.

Khalilzad

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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