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pursuant to Article 115 of the rules of Procedure of the European Parliament
by Brian Crowley, Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis and Eoin Ryan
on behalf of the UEN Group
on the situation of Zimbabwe

Procedure : 2005/2588(RSP)
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European parliament resolution on the situation in Zimbabwe

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on Zimbabwe,

-   having regard to the Common Position of the European Union as enunciated on 19 February 2004,

A.  whereas the international reaction to Operation "Murambatsvina" - "Drive Out Rubbish" and "Operation Restore Order" which the Zimbabwean government has launched and which to date has destroyed over 200 000 homes and left over million persons displaced, has been widespread,

B.  whereas amongst those who have been made homeless there are over 300 000 children who have been thrown out of the schools, women, elderly and disabled people, people with HIV,

C.  whereas many of the traders forcibly evicted by the police were licensed to operate at their various premises by the City council which then also billed services such as water supply and refuse collection;

D.  whereas many people with valid leases, proper planning permissions and in full compliance with the law have been unlawfully victimised and suffered extensive damage to their property worth millions of dollars, in many cases constituting their life savings,

E.  whereas some of 200 000 displaced persons were forced to go to transit camps in which the conditions are extremely poor with insufficient space, shelter, water and sanitation,

F.  whereas the elections in March 2005 were qualified by the international community as neither

free nor fair and have led to no improvement in the Human Rights situation in Zimbabwe,

G.  whereas concerns were raised by the European Union at the EU/African Ministerial Troika and at the EU/ South African Ministerial Troika meeting last year,

H.  whereas the United Nations and the ACP/EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly have raised concerns as well,

I.  whereas the European Union has imposed an assets freeze and travel ban against members of the Zimbabwean political elite, whom it considers most responsible for human rights violations in Zimbabwe,

J.  whereas Zimbabwe’s internal political, economic and human rights situation has continued to deteriorate since the EU first imposed sanctions in February 2002,

K.  whereas the rights of human rights defenders and NGOs, the administration of the justice

system, the freedom of expression and association and assembly and the situation of the media are all deteriorating because of the use of torture and violence,

L.  whereas the Zimbabwean Government has been accused of engaging in the partisan

distribution of humanitarian aid during the current food crisis,

M.  whereas since August 2002, it has been a criminal offence for commercial farmers in

Zimbabwe whose land has been targeted for redistribution to continue to farm their land,

N.  whereas Zimbabwe’s GDP has decreased by 27% in three years,

O.  whereas the unemployment rate is around 70% and food shortages are affecting half of the population,

P.  whereas the International Monetary Fund initiated expulsion proceedings against Zimbabwe for non-operation,

Q.  whereas in December 2003 the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting renewed its suspension of Zimbabwe from Commonwealth Councils,

1.  Condemns the violence and demands an immediate end to the forced mass evictions;

2.  Demands that unrestricted access for humanitarian aid and access to displaced refugees from neighbouring countries be granted immediately, as provided for in treaties to which Zimbabwe is a party;

3.  Calls on Member States to increase pressure on African leaders to take a stance on Zimbabwe, rejecting the argument that human rights concerns are an internal affair;

4.  Condemns the suppression of dissent which has continued in Zimbabwe;

5.  Supports an International Commission of Inquiry to investigate the use of food and shelter as political weapons; calls, in this regard, on the African Union to urge the African Commission on Human and People's Rights to investigate the issue urgently;

6.  Welcomes the African Union's decision to send its Special Rapporteur on IDPs from the African Commission on Human and People's Rights to Zimbabwe on a fact finding mission and hopes that the visits by Special Rapporteur will not be limited to official sites only;

7.  Condemns the violent clampdown on peaceful demonstrations;

8.  Condemns the Zimbabwean Government for not complying with the principles and guidelines governing democratic elections which were adopted by the Southern African Development Community on 17 August 2004 for the Parliament elections taking place in March 2005;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the governments of Member States, to the President of Zimbabwe, the UN Security Council, the Government of South Africa and the Co-Presidents of the ACP/EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.