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Cablegate: Guidance for Unsc Consultations On Zimbabwe

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #9202 2610012
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 170006Z SEP 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 3084
INFO RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 2968
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 0837

UNCLAS STATE 099202

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL PHUM ZI XA ZU KDEM
SUBJECT: GUIDANCE FOR UNSC CONSULTATIONS ON ZIMBABWE
SEPTEMBER 19

1. (U) This is an action request. USUN should draw from the
points in para 2 during the UN Security Council consultations
on Zimbabwe September 19.

2. (U) Begin points:

I would like to thank Assistant Secretary General for
Political Affairs Haile Menkerios for his briefing on the
situation in Zimbabwe. Today, I would like to make three
points.

First, the United States notes that the agreement
signed by the parties on September 15 provides an opportunity
to put Zimbabwe on the path to democratic reform and economic
prosperity. We are cautiously optimistic that it will give
greater voice to the aspirations and will of the Zimbabwean
people, as expressed on March 29. If implemented, the
agreement offers the people of Zimbabwe a chance to live in
peace without fear of violence and intimidation.
Furthermore, the agreement notes the State,s responsibility
to ensure that all Zimbabweans have access to humanitarian
and food assistance. The true test of the agreement will be
in its implementation.

Second, the United States remains concerned about the
welfare of the Zimbabwean people given reports of incidents
of government-sanctioned violence and intimidation in some
areas of the country. There are reports that so-called war
veterans and youth "militia" -- previously organized and
funded by the government -- have not been disbanded and
continue to assault and harass segments of the population.

Third, although we are encouraged by the government,s
decision to lift the suspension on the operations of
organizations providing humanitarian assistance, we remain
seriously concerned by reports that democratic governance and
human rights organizations may still face significant
challenges to their operations. We hope that under the new
government, civil society will be able to operate freely so
that Zimbabweans can safely exercise their political rights.
We are also concerned that the imposition of certain
reporting and monitoring requirements on humanitarian
organizations could potentially obstruct much needed food and
medical assistance programs. As part of our commitment to
help the people of Zimbabwe in their time of greatest need,
we have provided over $170 million in food aid and other
support inside Zimbabwe. In addition, we have provided $2.5
million for refugees and asylum seekers in neighboring
countries.

We strongly encourage the commitment of all parties to
begin concrete steps to implement the agreement signed on
September 15, so that the Zimbabwean people can experience
relief, begin recovery, and continue on the path to
democratic reform.

. Lastly, we thank UN Assistant Secretary General for
Political Affairs Haile Menkerios for keeping the Council
informed of developments in Zimbabwe.
RICE

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