SA pleads for aid for Zimbabwe despite human rights record

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, introducing her International Relations and Co-operation budget vote in an extended public committee of the National Assembly yesterday, urged an increase in assistance for Zimbabwe so that the people of Zimbabwe could proceed with the reconstruction of their country.

At the same time Amnesty International reported that persistent and serious human rights violations continue.
We shall continue to work with the people of Zimbabwe for the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement, Nkoana-Mashabane said, adding that SA was committed to developing normal diplomatic relations with that country.
We also call upon the international community to lift sanctions and fully engage the government of Zimbabwe and help respond to the calls of the people of Zimbabwe to help them rebuild their mother country, she said.
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been on an international mission to raise about $8,5bn for his countrys reconstruction. After a meeting with US President Barack Obama, however, he managed to secure a scant $73m as the international community continues to be suspicious of President Robert Mugabes commitment to the political agreement between the parties.
Sapa reported that Amnesty Internationals secretary-general Irene Khan said: The human rights situation in Zimbabwe is precarious and the socioeconomic conditions are desperate for the vast majority of Zimbabweans. Persistent and serious human rights violations continue.

The failure to introduce reforms of the police, army and security forces, or address impunity, and the lack of clear commitment of some parts of government are real obstacles that need to be confronted by the top leadership of Zimbabwe.

Business Day (SA)

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