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McKinnon Calls for Restraint and Calm in Zimbabwe

Commonwealth Secretary-General Calls for Restraint and Calm in Zimbabwe

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Don McKinnon, today (April 19th) issued the following statement from New Delhi where he is attending the Sixth Meeting of Commonwealth Ministers Responsible for Women's Affairs:

Developments in Zimbabwe, including recent killings, have led to mounting tension and are therefore a matter of growing concern.

The current atmosphere is not conducive to free and fair elections. I believe that restraint should be exercised and urge authorities to do everything possible to restore calm.

I am maintaining contacts with the Zimbabwe Government with a view to exploring how the Commonwealth could help enhance the credibility of the electoral process.

I have already stated that the Commonwealth stands ready to provide technical assistance and that I am willing to send Commonwealth observers to the elections if invited by the Government of Zimbabwe and supported by the parties contesting the elections.

Today is the 20th anniversary of Zimbabwe's independence. Conscious of the role which the Commonwealth played in facilitating its freedom, I am sure member countries would wish to join me in conveying greetings to the people of Zimbabwe.

Issued by the Information and Public Affairs Division,
Commonwealth Secretariat,
Marlborough House,
Pall Mall,
London SW1Y 5HX,
Tel: 0171-839 3411;
Fax: 0171:839 9081;
Telex: 27678

00/25 19 April 2000

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