Danish Development Minister ”deeply worried” about Zimbabwe

“We are following developments in Zimbabwe very closely,” Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Christian Friis Bach, said in a reply to Danish NGO Africa Contact. “I am deeply worried about the human rights situation in Zimbabwe with its politically motivated violence and intimidation.  It is vital that the planned referendum on a new constitution happens before a general election is called. Together with well-planned democratic processes, this will lessen the risk of a repeat of the events of 2008.”

The 2008-elections in Zimbabwe were marred by violence, murder and torture of supporters of Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). An example of this was the thousands of women who were either supporters of the MDC themselves, or married to MDC-supporters, and who were systematically raped, beaten or otherwise brutalized by President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and the police.

Christian Friis Bach insists that Danmark wants to help ensure that such politically motivated violence is stopped once and for all. “We are working closely together with civil society organisations in Zimbabwe who monitor and rapport on developments in this regard. Danish support for the independent monitoring mechanism, JOMIC, helps guarantee that politically motivated violence is regularly reported to and processed by the Zimbabwean Government of National Unity – which means that we are better informed of developments than in 2008. We are also actively working towards a continuous regional involvement in Zimbabwe – spearheaded by South Africa – to make sure that free and fair elections are held without violence or intimidation.”

Read unabridged version of article in Danish here.

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