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Canada tougher on Zimbabwe after the 2008 elections

Canada condemned the 2008 Presidential elections run-off which President Robert Mugabe won after Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out because of violence with Prime Minister Stephen Harper describing the elections as “stolen” and Foreign Minister David Emerson imposing restrictions on travel, work or study permits on senior government, military and police officials and their families.

According to one of the diplomatic cables jut released by Wikileaks, Harper said because no opposition candidate was fully engaged in the runoff election, Canada could not accept the results. “This ‘election’ was stolen,” he said.

 

Canada was therefore scrutinizing all aspects of its relationship with Zimbabwe and would take measures which could include travel and study bans, he said.

 

Two days later his Foreign Minister announced a series of sterner measures which included:

 

Restrictions on travel, work and study on senior Zimbabwean government, military and police officials and their families.

Summoning the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Canada to convey messages to her home government.

Reconfirming its long-standing policy against exporting military goods to Zimbabwe.

Not allowing any aircraft registered in Zimbabwe to land in, or to fly over, Canada.

And encouraging Canadian companies to voluntarily divest from Zimbabwe.

 

Below is the full cable:

Viewing cable 08OTTAWA886, CANADA REJECTS ZIMBABWE’S ELECTION OUTCOME, IMPOSES NEW

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08OTTAWA886

2008-06-30 16:53

2011-04-28 00:00

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Ottawa

VZCZCXRO6595

PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGA RUEHGI RUEHHA RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHMT

RUEHPA RUEHQU RUEHRN RUEHTRO RUEHVC

DE RUEHOT #0886/01 1821653

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

P 301653Z JUN 08

FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8116

INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE

RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 000886

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL PHUM ZI CA

SUBJECT: CANADA REJECTS ZIMBABWE’S ELECTION OUTCOME, IMPOSES NEW

RESTRICTIONS

 

REF: OTTAWA 874

 

1. (U) Prime Minister Stephen Harper on June 27 called Zimbabwe’s

presidential runoff election “stolen” and expressed Canada’s refusal

to accept their results. (Full text of the Prime Minister’s

statement in para 2.) One June 29, Foreign Minister David Emerson

announced further restrictions on Canada’s relations with Zimbabwe,

including tighter travel bans and calls for voluntary divestiture by

Canadian companies operating in Zimbabwe. (Full text in para 3.)

 

 

2. Text of statement from the Prime Minister’s Office

Quote

 

CANADA REJECTS ZIMBABWE’S STOLEN ELECTION

 

June 27, 2008

Ottawa, Ontario

 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement

rejecting Zimbabwe’s presidential runoff election of June 27, 2008

as illegitimate:

 

“Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, withdrew from the

presidential runoff because he considered the election environment

to have been contaminated by violence and intimidation instigated by

President Robert Mugabe and his government. Canada agrees fully with

that assessment.

 

“Because no opposition candidate was fully engaged in the runoff

election, Canada refuses to accept that the results are an

indication of the will of the Zimbabwean people. This ‘election’ was

stolen.

 

“We call on the Government of Zimbabwe and the Movement for

Democratic Change to work with each other and with regional and

international mediators toward a negotiated political settlement to

end this crisis, which continues to damage peace, security and

stability in Zimbabwe and the wider region.

 

“Any such settlement should respect the results of the March 29

elections. We stand with the United Nations Security Council, which

declared in its Presidential Statement of June 23 that, because of

the violence inflicted by the Mugabe government, the June 27

elections cannot be considered by the international community as a

credible expression of democratic will.

 

“In light of these negative developments, Canada is scrutinizing all

aspects of its relationship with the Government of Zimbabwe and will

bring in further measures as the situation develops. The measures

may include travel and study bans.

 

“We support the call for the UN Security Council to continue its

discussions on Zimbabwe.”

 

End quote

 

3. (U) Text of statement by Foreign Minister Emerson

Begin quote

 

June 29, 2008

 

CANADA IMPOSES IMMEDIATE RESTRICTIONS ON RELATIONS WITH ZIMBABWE

 

The Honourable David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today

condemned the illegitimate and illegal actions of the government of

Robert Mugabe in the conduct of Zimbabwe’s June 27, 2008, election,

and has rejected the results of this “election.” As a result, Canada

will immediately put in place measures designed to seriously

restrict its relationship with the Government of Zimbabwe.

 

“The Government of Zimbabwe’s systematic use of violence and

intimidation represents a grave violation of human rights and

democratic principles,” said Minister Emerson. “The citizens of

Zimbabwe have been denied the opportunity to shape their future

through free and fair elections, and they remain in constant danger

of intimidation, injury and loss of life. Canada does not consider

the result of the June 27 election to be, by any reasonable standard

of democracy, a credible outcome. This ‘election’ is illegitimate

and will not be accepted by the Government of Canada.”

 

The Government of Canada will immediately put in place a series of

measures to severely restrict its relationship with the Government

of Zimbabwe, and to send a message of solidarity to the people of

Qof Zimbabwe, and to send a message of solidarity to the people of

Zimbabwe and convey our rejection of the actions of a desperate and

illegitimate regime. The following is an initial series of measures

Canada is undertaking:

 

Q         Canada will impose restrictions on travel, work and study

on senior Zimbabwean government, military and police officials and

their families.

 

OTTAWA 00000886 002 OF 002

 

 

Q         Canada will summon the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Canada to

convey messages to her home government.

Q         Canada reconfirms its long-standing policy against

exporting military goods to Zimbabwe.

Q         The Government of Canada will not allow any aircraft

registered in Zimbabwe to land in, or to fly over, Canada.

 

The Government of Canada encourages Canadian companies to

voluntarily divest from Zimbabwe. Canada will continue to provide

humanitarian assistance to those in need in Zimbabwe through trusted

Canadian and international partners.

 

“Canada is working with its partners in the G8 and elsewhere to

ensure a concerted international approach to dealing with the

flagrant abuse of the democratic process in Zimbabwe. The current

government of Zimbabwe is illegitimate in the eyes of the

international community. We call upon the United Nations Security

Council and the African Union to condemn the election as

illegitimate and to take further measures,” added Minister Emerson.

 

Canada commends the work of regional election observers in Zimbabwe,

and notes in particular the interim report of the Pan African

Parliament Election Observation Mission, released today, which

stated that the elections had been marred by high levels of

intimidation, violence, displacement of people, abductions and loss

of life. It concluded that the elections were not free, fair, or

credible.

 

The Minister further stressed that the Government of Canada is fully

behind the people of Zimbabwe who have shown courage and

determination in these difficult times.

 

End quote

WILKINS

(8 VIEWS)

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