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Tsvangirai calls on UN to intervene in Zimbabwe to stop civil war

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai in October 2002 appealed to United States President George Bush to appeal to the United Nations Security Council to intervene in Zimbabwe to stop a bloodbath in Zimbabwe.

In a letter to President Bush, Tsvangirai said: “There is growing evidence on the ground in Zimbabwe today Sir, that the subjugated and brutalized majority are preparing to react violently against this state of affairs.

“The consequent bloody civil strife will not only result in a massive loss of life but will inevitably spill into the territory of the neighbouring states of the region.

“The international community must not allow Mugabe to continue charting this path towards national destruction and darkness.”

Tsvangirai’s appeal was also sent, among others, to former United States present Bill Clinton, former United States President Jimmy Carter and civil right leader Jesse Jackson.

Tsvangirai said President Robert Mugabe must not be allowed to invoke  “national sovereignty” in a vain endeavour to reinforce his illegitimate political position internationally.

“The sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe must be protected, but the object of the protection is not the power base of a tyrant who rules directly by naked and illegitimate force or through the apparatus of a totalitarian political order.

“Instead, what must be protected is the capacity of the people of Zimbabwe to freely express and effect legitimate choices about the identities and policies of those who govern them.”

The United States embassy said Tsvangirai’s appeal reflected the growing pressure the opposition party was under from the government of Zimbabwe, the MDC’s inability to devise effective, home-grown solutions to Zimbabwe’s intensifying cycle of crises, and a genuine concern that the situation in Zimbabwe could degenerate into civil conflict.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 02HARARE2295, LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH FROM MDC LEADER TSVANGIRAI

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE2295

2002-10-16 17:57

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 002295

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR FRAZER

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR CNEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: OPDC PREL ZI

SUBJECT: LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH FROM MDC LEADER TSVANGIRAI

 

 

1. On October 16, Embassy was asked to convey a letter

from Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan

Tsvangirai to President Bush and other current and former

 

SIPDIS

USG officials seeking a more active UN role in addressing

Zimbabwe’s crises. We have pouched the letters to AF/S and

convey the text of the Tsvangirai-Bush letter in paragraph

2 below.   The other letters contain identical text and

were delivered in sealed envelopes addressed to former

President Clinton; former President Carter; UN Ambassador

Negroponte; Representatives Ed Royce and Donald Payne;

Senators Daschle and Lott; Reverend Jesse Jackson; and

Chester Crocker.

 

2. Begin text of Tsvangirai-Bush letter:

 

Mr. George W. Bush

President of the United States of America

Washington DC

 

October 14, 2002

 

Dear Mr. President,

 

Re: Call for UN Security Council action on Crimes Against

Humanity Committed by the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe.

 

On behalf of the majority of the people of Zimbabwe, I

write to you Sir, and the other Five Permanent Members of

the United Nations Security Council.

 

Since February 2000, several efforts by the United States

of America, the European Union, the Commonwealth, SADC, the

World Council of Churches and several local and

international civic organizations appealed to Robert Mugabe

to uphold the rule of law, respect human rights and put a

stop to political murders, rape, torture and state-

sponsored terror and violence, but the illegitimate Mugabe

regime has not relented. Instead, it has demonstrated

utter contempt of international opinion and has reaffirmed

its commitment to carrying out crimes against humanity as a

means of subjugating the people of Zimbabwe and denying

them the right to freely determine their own destiny.

 

There is growing evidence on the ground in Zimbabwe today

Sir, that the subjugated and brutalized majority are

preparing to react violently against this state of affairs.

The consequent bloody civil strife will not only result in

a massive loss of life but will inevitably spill into the

territory of the neighboring states of the region. The

international community must not allow Mugabe to continue

charting this path towards national destruction and

darkness.

 

It is in the context of this grim and extremely dangerous

situation that the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),

which represents the legitimate aspirations of the people

of Zimbabwe, calls for the intervention of the UN Security

Council in the Zimbabwe crisis in accordance with Article

39 (Chapter VII powers) of the United Nations Charter.

Crimes that rival fascism and Nazism in scale and

wickedness are being committed daily, not by an occupying

force, but by a supposedly sovereign government of the

country.

 

We therefore call for the urgent institution of an

international program for Zimbabwe under the auspices of

the United Nations, designed to:

 

1. Investigate the gross human rights abuses and

crimes against humanity that are being perpetrated by

the Mugabe regime.

 

2. Investigate state-sponsored violence and the breakdown

of the rule of law.

 

3. Investigate the denial of food relief to suspected

political opponents and the consequent mass starvation.

 

4. Facilitate the realization of a free, unfettered and

fair expression of the popular will of the people of

Zimbabwe.

 

We ask and plead with you Sir, and your fellow permanent

members of the UN Security Council, to place these issues

on the agenda of the Security Council for serious

discussion and speedy resolution. In our humble view,

there remains no other viable alternative in the quest to

put a stop to the crimes against humanity that are being

perpetrated daily by the Mugabe regime.

 

The Mugabe regime has recreated the conditions of the

Rhodesian crisis in 1965, when the Ian Smith regime

effected a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) and

established an illegitimate government in order to maintain

a racial political order over the majority of the

population.

 

UDI sought to deny the majority of the people of the then

Rhodesia the right of self-determination. In 1966, in

reaction to that development, the UN Security Council (SC

Res.232 (1966) and subsequent resolutions), acted swiftly

to confront an ominous development that threatened regional

and international peace and security.

 

In reacting to UDI, the UN Security Council recognized the

legitimacy of the Zimbabwe people’s struggle against racist

minority rule, which was undemocratic. Similarly, the

Security Council must legitimately consider Robert Mugabe’s

forestalling of the installation of a legitimate elected

government through illegitimate force, and the consequent

violations of human rights, as clearly constituting a

threat to international peace and security.

 

Through his brutal suppression of the right of the

Zimbabwean people to freely elect a government of their

choice and through his regime’s perpetration of crimes

against humanity, Robert Mugabe has crated an explosive and

dangerous situation akin to Ian Smith’s UDI. A corrupt,

murderous and illegitimate regime maintains state sponsored

violence against a defenseless civilian population. This

situation is rapidly degenerating into mass killings,

refugee flows and mass starvation.

 

The prevailing internal situation therefore constitutes a

threat to regional and international peace and security.

SADC Heads of State and government came to the same

conclusion at their Luanda, Angola Summit when they denied

the Mugabe regime the opportunity to host the SADC 2003

Summit. We believe that the international community must

proceed rapidly to use this SADC position as a launching

pad for determined action to clamp down on the growing

spiral of violence and crimes against humanity perpetrated

by the Mugabe regime.

 

In his violent seizure of power, Robert Mugabe must not be

allowed to invoke the international legal term, “national

sovereignty” in a vain endeavor to reinforce his

illegitimate political position internationally. He is

susceptible to a megalomania that identifies his corporeal

self with symbols of nation and state. This provides the

context in which Robert Mugabe inflicts crimes against

humanity upon those Zimbabweans trapped within the

boundaries of the territory that he confuses with himself.

In Robert Mugabe’s case, the term “national sovereignty”

must not be used to allow him to shield the suppression of

the real popular sovereignty from external rebuke and

sanction.

 

The sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe must be

protected, but the object of the protection is not the

power base of a tyrant who rules directly by naked and

illegitimate force or through the apparatus of a

totalitarian political order. Instead, what must be

protected is the capacity of the people of Zimbabwe to

freely express and effect legitimate choices about the

identities and policies of those who govern them.

 

The time for the Security Council to act is now. Delay

will result in a costly catastrophe in terms of human

lives.

 

We therefore urgently appeal to you, Mr. President, as one

of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council,

to act with your characteristic determination to put a stop

to the violent abuse of human rights and the carnage that

is going on and assist in the process of laying a healing

hand on the country and its tortured people.

 

I avail myself, Mr. President, this opportunity to renew

the assurances of my highest consideration.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Morgan Tsvangirai,

President, Movement for Democratic Change.

END TEXT.

 

3. Comment: Tsvangirai’s urgent appeal to the United

Nations reflects the growing pressure the opposition party

is under from the GOZ, the MDC’s inability to devise

effective, home-grown solutions to Zimbabwe’s intensifying

cycle of crises, and a genuine concern that the situation

here will soon degenerate into civil conflict.

 

 

SULLIVAN

(3 VIEWS)

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