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Cablegate: Zimbabwe: Talking Points for July 8 Briefing

VZCZCXYZ0008
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #2696 1892216
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 072221Z JUL 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0000
INFO UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS STATE 072696

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL PHUM ZI XA ZU
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWE: TALKING POINTS FOR JULY 8 BRIEFING

1. Action Request: USUN is instructed to draw on the points
in para 2 below during the July 8 UNSC meeting in
which D/SYG Migiro and A/SYG Menkerios will provide briefings
on the situation in Zimbabwe. If the UNSC votes
on the draft resolution during this same meeting, USUN may
use these points in its Explanation of Vote. USUN may
also draw on these points in speaking to the press after the
meeting. End Action Request.

2. Begin points:

-- I would like to thank Deputy Secretary General Migiro and
Assistant Secretary General Menkerios for their briefings.
The United States remains deeply concerned with the situation
in Zimbabwe.

-- Even now, after the June 27 sham election, the Mugabe
regime's violence, harassment, and intimidation against
opposition supporters in Zimbabwe continues. Just this past
weekend a group of armed militia raided two internally
displaced person camps near Ruwa leaving 8 hospitalized and
over a dozen others missing. On July 2, over 200 members of
the opposition sought refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Harare,
and internally displaced persons fleeing the violence have
sought shelter in other Embassies, churches, NGO facilities,
and the opposition headquarters.

-- Today, I would like to make four points.

-- (If resolution is voted and passes) First, we are very
pleased that the Council decided to send a clear message to
the Mugabe regime that its actions in defiance of the will of
the Zimbabwean people and the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights will not be accepted by the international community.

-- (If resolution is voted and fails or is vetoed) First, we
are extremely disappointed that the Security Council failed
to adopt the draft resolution and send a clear message to the
Mugabe regime that its actions in defiance of the will of the
Zimbabwean people and the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights will not be accepted by the
international community. We are deeply concerned that the
Council's failure to act will contribute to the suffering
of the Zimbabwean people and to further instability in
Zimbabwe and the region.

-- (If there is no vote on Tuesday) First, Mr. Mugabe cannot
claim victory in the June 27th run-off election. Election
observers from the African Union, Southern African
Development Community, and Pan-African Parliament have all
reported that the June 27 elections were neither free nor
fair. The Mugabe regime used violence and intimidation to
force opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai -- the winner of
the March 29 election -- out of the run-off election. An
election conducted in those circumstances cannot be
considered legitimate.

-- Since the sham election, new evidence has emerged that
confirms international suspicions that Mugabe and top
Government of Zimbabwe officials not only plotted to steal
the election, but led a well-orchestrated and deeply
disturbing military-style campaign of violence and
intimidation against the opposition and its supporters.
According to media reports, the Mugabe regime even referred
to this campaign as CIBD or Coercion, Intimidation, Beating,
and Displacement. This military operation involved up to 200
senior army officers, who established nearly 2,000 base camps
around the country to conduct brutal violence against the
opposition. The small farming village of Chaona, which had
voted for Morgan Tsvingarai in the March election, was the
first to feel the brunt of this military assault. Starting
May 5, the village suffered a rampage that left seven people
dead and many more seriously beaten and injured, including
women and children.

-- This military style offensive continued through the
country targeting the members and supporters of the
opposition. Then on election day, as an additional measure
to ensure victory, the Mugabe regime forced voters to the
polls and threatened to track through ballot serial numbers
those who refused to vote or who cast their votes for
Tsvangirai despite his withdrawal from the run-off. No
election conducted in these circumstances can produce
legitimate results.

-- Second, the United States introduced a draft resolution on
Zimbabwe because we believe that it is important for the
Security Council to send a clear message to the Mugabe regime
on the need to immediately end the violence and to begin a
serious dialogue with the opposition to achieve a solution
that reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people as expressed
in the March 29 elections. Such a dialogue is needed to end
the crisis that threatens Zimbabwe and the region.

-- Third, the crisis in Zimbabwe continues to be a threat to
regional peace and security. As Deputy Secretary General
Migiro said at the AU Summit last week, "Zimbabwe is the
single greatest challenge to regional stability in
Southern Africa." The people of Zimbabwe have few options to
address their dire situation. Their government has failed
them economically and politically. Since they were refused
the chance to democratically express their frustrations, I
fear many will decide to flee the country, further straining
the resources of Zimbabwe's neighbors. Still, we urge
neighboring governments to provide asylum to Zimbabweans and
to work with UNHCR to ensure protection and assistance to
refugees. We also urge neighboring governments to cease
deportations of Zimbabweans during this period of conflict in
Zimbabwe.

-- Finally, we want to express our deep regret that Robert
Mugabe, who was once welcomed as a liberator, has
led his country into this unnecessary crisis through his own
repressive political actions and misguided economic
policies. The Mugabe regime must allow the people of
Zimbabwe, through their legitimately elected
officials, to chart a democratic and prosperous course for
Zimbabwe.

End points.
RICE

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