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SADC called on to intervene in Zim protests

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SADC called on to intervene in Zimbabwe protests

“…the decision taken by the Zimbabwean government would not only affect Zimbabwe and South Africans but also other SADC countries which used Beit Bridge to transport resources to countries such as Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Malawi.”

The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) is calling on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to intervene in the current violence in Zimbabwe to ensure protestors’ rights are not abused. Protests escalated in Zimbabwe after the government introduced input regulations preventing the import of certain goods from South Africa. Protests moved from Beit Bridge to Harare where there was a general stayaway on Thursday, July 6.

 

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The CSVR is joining other civil society organisations in condemning the Zimbabwean government’s use of violence to deal with the protests.

“The excessive police violence used against protestors is an indication that the state is misusing its power in times of disorder and symbolic instability,” said Tsholofelo Sesanga, community intervention programme manager at CSVR.

When policing is introduced it needs to be within the human rights discourse,” adds Sesanga.

The CSVR said the protests were a manifestation of peoples’ anger and frustrations about the decisions made by the Zimbabwean government.

“People have resorted to these violent demonstrations because they want their concerns to be taken into consideration by the government,” she said.

It noted that the decision taken by the Zimbabwean government would not only affect Zimbabwe and South Africans, but also other SADC countries which used Beit Bridge to transport resources to countries such as Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Malawi.

“As a civil society organisation, we call on SADC and the South African government to intervene. The new import regulations implemented by the Zimbabwean government will affect both countries negatively,” said Sesanga.

“If government doesn’t take action these protests have a potential to spread into other areas and feed into xenophobic attacks,” she said.

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