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with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure
by Geoffrey Van Orden, Nirj Deva, Michael Gahler and Bernd Posselt
on behalf of the EPP-ED group
on Zimbabwe

Procedure : 2005/2588(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Zimbabwe

The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Zimbabwe, most recently of 16 December 2004,

– having regard to Council Common Position of 21 February 2005 renewing sanctions against the Mugabe regime and Commission Regulation of 15 June 2005 extending the travel ban,

– having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 19 May, the Mugabe regime intensified its oppression of the people of Zimbabwe by the brutal destruction of thousands of homes in Harare, Bulawayo and other urban areas, to the extent that over 200 000 people, according to UN estimates, are now without shelter or livelihood,

B.  whereas those loyal to Mugabe had consolidated their power in the flawed parliamentary elections of 31 March, elections which were marred by oppression and intimidation and failed to meet internationally acceptable democratic standards,

C.  whereas G8 leaders will meet at Gleneagles on 6-8 July and the British Presidency of the G8 has put assistance to Africa at the top of its agenda; whereas the Live8 campaign has put additional focus on the problems of Africa, including the need for good governance,

D.  whereas on 24 May EU Development Ministers agreed to increase EU aid to an additional €20 billion annually by 2010,

E.  whereas aid alone can achieve little in Africa without good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights, and the attitude to developments in Zimbabwe by African governments is a key indication of their commitment to such values,

F.  whereas previously, Zimbabwe had a successful economy, exported food to other African countries and was in a position to assist its weaker neighbours in overcoming their difficulties; whereas it is now a failed state with millions of its people reliant on food aid from the international community; whereas the UN World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that Zimbabwe will require 1.8 million metric tons of cereal to feed its 4 million people suffering malnourishment and at risk of starvation; whereas Zimbabwe's domestic production capacity is now only between 400,000 and 600,000 metric tons of cereal,

G.  whereas the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicated that Zimbabwe's arrears to the IMF amount to US $295 million and that the Mugabe regime's urban clearance, along with declining agricultural output, will cause inflation to increase yet further leading to an even deeper economic crisis,

H.  whereas companies from Member States are continuing to purchase produce that is believed to originate from farms under the direct control of the Mugabe regime,

J.  whereas the African Union has refused to intervene to put a stop to Mugabe's brutal oppression and the South African President, Thabo Mbeki, has declined even to criticise Mugabe's actions, let alone take tangible measures against his regime,

K.  whereas the Southern African Development Community (SADC) continues to maintain a regional peacekeeping training centre in Harare,

L.  whereas, when renewing the targeted sanctions against the Mugabe regime in February, Council committed itself to further review of those sanctions "in the light of the parliamentary elections which will take place in Zimbabwe in March 2005",

M.  whereas the EU travel ban against Zimbabwe was extended on 15 June 2005 to include some 120 members of the Mugabe regime; whereas this extension will have little impact without rigorous enforcement of the sanctions; whereas Council has imposed no other measures against the Mugabe regime since the 31 March fraudulent election or following the most recent bout of oppression,

N.  whereas the next EU Foreign Ministers Council (GAERC) will take place on 18-19 July and provides an opportunity for action,

O.  whereas Roy Bennett, former opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) MP, was released from prison on 28 June following 8 months imprisonment in appalling conditions,

1.  At a time when the Western democracies are reaching out to help the people of Africa, condemns the Mugabe regime for the intensification of its oppression of the Zimbabwean people, and expresses its deep disappointment at the failure of other African governments to add their voices to this censure and to take action;

2.  Shares the view of Live8 that "African governments must be free from corruption and thuggery and put in place recognised practices of good governance, accountability and transparency towards their own people and to the world" and therefore insists upon a clear demonstration on the part of African regional organisations and nations of their commitment to good governance, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, as well as economic progress and regards Zimbabwe as the test case in this regard;

3.  Refuses to recognize the result of the deeply flawed elections of 31 March which failed to meet internationally accepted democratic standards;

4.  Deeply regrets the failure of Council to respond to Parliament's consistent calls for increased pressure against the Mugabe regime;

5.  Insists, in the light of the situation in Zimbabwe and the desire of the people of our countries for support for Africa, that Council take serious action to bring about change for the better in Zimbabwe;

6.  Deplores the weak stance of the African Union, in particular South Africa and Zimbabwe's other neighbours, in turning a blind eye to the daily oppression of the people of Zimbabwe and the destruction of that country's economy; reminds the South African Government of its special responsibility vis-à-vis its neighbour Zimbabwe and calls on it to strive to ensure that the Mugabe regime stops the forced evictions immediately;

7.  Calls upon SADC to close its regional peacekeeping training centre in Harare as an indication of its willingness to exert pressure on the Mugabe regime;

8.  Calls upon companies in Member States trading with Zimbabwe to employ transparent business practices, to refuse to enter into contracts with those that have been party to Mugabe's land seizure programme, and to act in ways that will be of benefit to the people of Zimbabwe and not the Mugabe regime;

9.  Welcomes the Commission President's expression of disappointment at the failure of the African Union and of South Africa to respond to the "human rights crisis" in Zimbabwe;

10.  Calls upon the UN Security Council to concern itself with the oppression taking place in Zimbabwe (and examine the extent to which those responsible can be held to account by the International Criminal Court);

11.  Welcomes the release of Roy Bennett from prison but deplores his appalling treatment in the hands of the Mugabe regime;

12.  Calls for Robert Mugabe to stand down and for the establishment of a government of national unity in Zimbabwe involving opposition groups and other persons of goodwill in order to restore decency in Zimbabwe and mend the broken economy and human rights situation;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Governments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Zimbabwe, the Government and Parliament of South Africa, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, the UN Secretary-General, the Presidents of the Commission and Council of the African Union and the Secretary-General of SADC.