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Zimbabwe: UN Concern Over Poilitical Violence

Zimbabwe: UN voices concern over politically-motivated violence

13 May 2008 - The United Nations today expressed its concern over rising political violence in Zimbabwe, allegedly perpetrated by security forces, youth militias, war veterans and gangs of supporters of both the ruling the ruling ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The world body's top official in the Southern African nation said the UN country team has received an increasing number of reports for humanitarian aid for those impacted by this violence in recent weeks.

Unrest and violence have been widespread in Zimbabwe following the 29 March presidential election, in which the incumbent Robert Mugabe was challenged by MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

"These incidences of violence are occurring in the communal, farming and urban areas and there are indications that the level of violence is escalating in all these areas and could reach crisis levels," UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York, adding that the Organization's country team has received some evidence to substantiate these reports.

The UN team in Zimbabwe expressed its worries over those who have fled their homes - out of fear of reprisals by party activists - and lack food, shelter and other basic social services, which could lead to unprecedented humanitarian needs.

Having informed the Government of the situation, the world body called on authorities to address the humanitarian situation.

Last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the next phases of Zimbabwe's elections to be free and fair.

"He reiterates his strong belief that future stages of the electoral process must be conducted in a peaceful, credible and transparent manner in the presence of international observers," according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

ENDS

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