Friday, June 6, 2008

More on Zimbabwe's Blockade of Charitable Aid

The New York Times reported on June 6, 2008, that the tightening of controls on charitable aid groups in Zimbabwe is increasing.  We blogged earlier this week about Zimbabwean government's ordered suspension of charitable activities of CARE in the impoverished country.  The government has now apparently "ordered all humanitarian aid groups to suspend their operations in the deeply impoverished nation, a prohibition that relief agencies estimate will deprive two million people of food aid and other basic assistance."  Here is an excerpt from the article:

Aid workers and human rights groups say the suspension of humanitarian operations and the detention of the diplomats are part of the governing party’s strategy to clear the countryside of witnesses to its brutal efforts to decimate the political opposition and drive its supporters out of the wards in which they are eligible to vote.

ZANU-PF, the governing party, is clearly determined to go ahead with the runoff in the hope of preserving a veneer of legitimacy for a government that is increasingly viewed internationally as a pariah, and the party is trying to win it at any cost, Zimbabwean political analysts say.

At an emergency meeting on Thursday in Harare, the capital, United Nations agencies and aid groups agreed to protest the suspension and issue a statement about its humanitarian implications, according to the minutes of the meeting. The nongovernmental organizations there worried about the safety of their field staff once the prohibition order reaches local administrators across the country.

For the entire article, see "Zimbabwe Tells All Aid Groups to Halt Efforts" in the June 6, 2008, issue of the New York Times.


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