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Cablegate: Botswana's Au Statement On Zimbabwe Situation

O 032132Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY GABORONE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5101
INFO SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY ABUJA
AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
AMEMBASSY CAIRO
AMEMBASSY HARARE
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS GABORONE 000547


DEPARTMENT FOR AF AND AF/S
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV AU BC ZI
SUBJECT: BOTSWANA'S AU STATEMENT ON ZIMBABWE SITUATION

1. (U) The GOB Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International
Cooperation in Gaborone has shared with the Embassy the
official text of Botswana's July 1 intervention/statement on
the situation in Zimbabwe at the recent African Union Summit
in Sharm el-Sheik. Post has already e-mailed a PDF of this
text to AF/S, but repeats it here in cable format for the
record and for the benefit of addressees.

Begin Verbatim Official GOB Text:

(Delivered at the African Union Summit, July 1, 2008, Sharm
el-Sheik)

Intervention by His Honour, Lt. Gen. Mompati S. Merafhe,
Vice President of the Republic of Botswana,
On Botswana's Position Regarding The Situation in Zimbabwe.

Mr. Chairman

Your Excellencies

1. I wish to prefix my remarks by informing this meeting
that Botswana has over the years enjoyed cordial and fruitful
relations with Zimbabwe and these have been characterised by
cooperation in various sectors.

2. Our two countries are united by a common historical and
cultural heritage which has brought our people together over
centuries.

3. Botswana, like other Frontline States, played an
important role to promote the cause of Zimbabwe's struggle to
attain self-rule and independence.

4. We are proud to have played our role in that regard.

5. Our support for Zimbabwe's liberation was informed by
our own national interests, for without a free, democratic
and stable Zimbabwe, we could not hope to enjoy the same in
our own country.

6. It is for these reasons, Mr. Chairman, Your
Excellencies, that Botswana has made some public
pronouncements prior to the recent presidential run-off
elections, condemning the acts of violence and intimidation,
and urging the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure an
environment that is conducive to the holding of free, fair
and credible elections.

7. The Election Observers, in particular those from the Pan
African Parliament and SADC, have concluded that the election
process did not meet the required minimum standards and did
not reflect the unfettered will of the people of Zimbabwe.

8. Botswana's position, therefore, is that the outcome of
these elections does not confer legitimacy on the Government
of President Mugabe.

9. In our considered view, it therefore follows that the
representatives of the current 'Government' in Zimbabwe
should be excluded from attending SADC and African Union
meetings.

10. Their participation in the meetings of the two
organizations would give unqualified legitimacy to a process
which cannot be considered legitimate.

11. Botswana's position is that such a scenario would be
unacceptable.

12. Botswana supports the consensus that seems to be
emerging, which calls for the two parties to be brought
together in a mediation process to find a political solution
to Zimbabwe's problems.

13. The personalities for the mediation process should be
acceptable to both parties.

14. It is also Botswana's strong view that the mediation
process must treat both parties as equals.

15. I wish to conclude by urging both parties to seriously
reflect on the plight of the people of Zimbabwe.

16. The people of Zimbabwe have suffered long enough.

17. As a neighbor and a friend, Botswana stands ready to
offer any assistance to the mediation process within the
limits of her capabilities.

18. Mr. Chairman, let me conclude by saying that Zimbabweans
are our friends and we would not be genuine friends, and in
fact, we would not live with our conscience if we did not
express our views honestly and objectively at this critical
hour of need in the history of Zimbabwe and Southern African,
and indeed our tortured continent.

End Verbatim Official GOB Text.

DROUIN

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