SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS VIOLENT CAMPAIGN AGAINST POLITICAL OPPOSITION IN ZIMBABWE; REGRETS FAILURE TO HOLD FREE, FAIR ELECTION, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT

23 June 2008
SC/9369

SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS VIOLENT CAMPAIGN AGAINST POLITICAL OPPOSITION IN ZIMBABWE; REGRETS FAILURE TO HOLD FREE, FAIR ELECTION, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT

23 June 2008
Security Council
SC/9369
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5921st Meeting (Night)

SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS VIOLENt CAMPAIGN AGAINST POLITICAL OPPOSITION IN ZIMBABWE;

REGRETS FAILURE TO HOLD FREE, FAIR ELECTION, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT

The Security Council this evening condemned the campaign of violence against the political opposition in Zimbabwe and the actions of the Government that had denied its political opponents the right to campaign freely, regretting that the violence and the restrictions on the political opposition had made it impossible to hold a free and fair election on 27 June.

In a statement read by this month’s President, Zalmay Khalilzad of the United States, the Council noted that the results of the 29 March elections must be respected, and it considered that, to be legitimate, any government of Zimbabwe must take account of the interests of all its citizens.

The Council called on the Government of Zimbabwe to stop the violence -- which had resulted in the killing of scores of opposition activists and other Zimbabweans and the beating and displacement of thousands of people, including many women and children -- to cease political intimidation, to end restrictions on the right of assembly and to release the detained political leaders.

Condemning also the suspension by the Government of humanitarian operations, the Council called on the Government to immediately allow humanitarian organizations to resume their services.  It urged the international monitors and observers to remain in Zimbabwe while the crisis continued.

(Earlier this evening, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe briefed the Council on the situation in Zimbabwe.  For details, see Press Release SC/9368.)

The meeting started at 7:50 p.m. and adjourned at 7:54 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2008/23 reads as follows:

“The Security Council condemns the campaign of violence against the political opposition ahead of the second round of the Presidential elections scheduled for 27 June, which has resulted in the killing of scores of opposition activists and other Zimbabweans and the beating and displacement of thousands of people, including many women and children.

“The Security Council further condemns the actions of the Government of Zimbabwe that have denied its political opponents the right to campaign freely, and calls upon the Government of Zimbabwe to stop the violence, to cease political intimidation, to end the restrictions on the right of assembly and to release the political leaders who have been detained.  The Council urges the international monitors and observers to remain in Zimbabwe while the crisis continues.

“The Security Council regrets that the campaign of violence and the restrictions on the political opposition have made it impossible for a free and fair election to take place on 27 June.  The Council further considers that, to be legitimate, any government of Zimbabwe must take account of the interests of all its citizens.  The Council notes that the results of the 29 March 2008 elections must be respected.

“The Security Council expresses its concern over the impact of the situation in Zimbabwe on the wider region.  The Council welcomes the recent international efforts, including those of SADC leaders and particularly President Mbeki.  The Security Council calls on the Zimbabwean authorities to cooperate fully with all efforts, including through the UN, aimed at finding a peaceful way forward, through dialogue between the parties, that allows a legitimate government to be formed that reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people.

“The Security Council further expresses its concern at the grave humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe and condemns the suspension by the Government of Zimbabwe of the operations of humanitarian organizations, which has directly affected one and a half million people, including half a million children.  The Council calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to immediately allow humanitarian organizations to resume their services.

“The Security Council will continue to monitor closely the situation and requests the Secretary-General to report on ongoing regional and international efforts to resolve the crisis.”

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.