Request for the United Nations Intervention in Zimbabwe

To compel the United Nations Security Council to pass resolutions imposing economic sanctions on Zimbabwe and establisbing an International Tribunal for Crimes Against Humanity in Zimbabwe. Perpetrators of these crimes should be apprehended and then prosecuted.

His Excellency, Koffi Annan,

The Secretary General,

The United Nations

1 United Nations Plaza

New York, New York 10017-3515

December 8 2005.

Re: Request for The United Nations Intervention in Zimbabwe

Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

I humbly address myself to your esteemed office requesting for the urgent intervention by the United Nations on the worsening humanitarian crisis unfolding in Zimbabwe.

Unless the United Nations and the international community at large intervene soon, the political tension and public discontent in Zimbabwe will result in violent confrontation between the regime of Robert Mugabe and the impoverished, oppressed people of Zimbabwe. This will inverably lead to civil strife, and compounded by the economic meltdown, will trigger regional instability.

The United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs & Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Jan Egeland, has just concluded a four day fact finding mission to Zimbabwe. He has concluded that Operation Murambatsvina, the government orchestrated urban clean up exercise, demolished homes and rendered 700 000 families homeless. This government sanctioned operation grossly violated international humanitarian law.

We urge all members of the Security Council to pass a resolution upon the presentation of the facts by Mr. Jan Egeland. The resolution made by the United Nations Security Council should impose personal and economic sanctions on the regime of Robert Mugabe and establish a tribunal to investigate these violations. An international tribunal for crimes against humanity should then be created to prosecute those involved in the planning and execution of the demolitions, evictions and the deaths of the evictees.

Three million Zimbabweans are facing imminent starvation but the government of Robert Mugabe constantly refuses international aid on the pretext that it is expecting a bumper harvest. Admitting that it requires food aid would be an acknowledgement of its failed chaotic land redistribution exercise which is responsible for the poor crop harvests.

On humanitarian grounds alone, a United Nations military intervention for the removal of Robert Mugabe and his barbaric regime is long overdue. The blatant and deliberate infliction of misery, hardship, torture and grief on ordinary citizens by this regime forms the basis for the use of military force.

Of the viable practical options available to the international community and indeed to all law abiding Zimbabwean citizens, the military intervention is the only remaining option. It is always favourable to find a political or diplomatic solution, but the failure of these initiatives brings us to this last resort.

The regime of Robert Mugabe has implemented a total media blackout policy under its current draconian laws; the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) prohibit international and independent journalists from reporting from within the country. The regime through its Ministry of Information is the only source of permissible news pertaining to the unfolding humanitarian crisis. However, the regime’s information is unreliable and its data is tainted to reflect a semblance of normalcy.

Quiet diplomacy, after being championed for the past four years by President Thabo Mbeki has failed. Targeted sanctions through the efforts of the European Union and the United States have had minimal effect. The African Union and SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) are indifferent and have abrogated their responsibilities by calling the Zimbabwean crisis a domestic issue. The regime in Zimbabwe has become more brutal and seems to have been given a new license to kill, loot and pillage by its African peers.

Under international law, the regime’s posture of mobilizing and pre-positioning its armed forces against the civilian population constitutes visible and palpable proof of its offensive motive which warrants the intervention of United Nations. The mandate for which will be for the restoration of human rights and averting a humanitarian crisis.

The United Nations needs to firstly establish a no fly zone in areas of Zimbabwe where humanitarian assistance is urgently required and is being hampered by the regime’s policies of politicizing food distribution. These areas need to be demilitarized and a buffer zone established. The United Nations then becomes the sovereign authority in these areas and assumes all command and control powers.

Secondly the United Nations and the international community at large have to take preventative military action against the Mugabe regime in order to avert any further violations of international humanitarian law.  The United Nations Security Council has in the past authorized and initiated the use of force to end violations of international humanitarian law. The world has witnessed examples of this in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Rwanda, Albania and Somalia.

Does the UN intervene in Africa only when the deaths have reached a certain threshold? Do Africans need to be seen dying on Western television sets before anyone intervenes? If we had oil would we have seen immediate intervention?

In the absence of international intervention, Zimbabweans only have one viable option left – WAR. War becomes the only antidote to the political, social and economic ills bedeviling Zimbabwe today. Mugabe is intransigent, having recently spurned Mr. Joaqim Chissano and Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo, and distinguished African statesmen, in their quest to open dialogue. Mugabe’s posture stems from the fact that he was never rehabilitated after the war of liberation. He is still a guerilla in his mind and shows signs of post traumatic stress disorder coupled with senile dementia.

Mugabe’s exit has to be hastened, let all freedom loving Zimbabweans with freedom flowing in their veins standby and prepare to defend their right to a better life. The average life expectancy in Zimbabwe is now 30; unemployment is 80%, with inflation at 411%. Most young Zimbabweans are going to be dying or dead from disease, hunger or war, before their 40th birthday. It’s just a question of when, not if.

We are on the right side of history; let us seize the initiative now. In tandem to any proposed military intervention, a well planned post conflict strategy for economic and social recovery needs to be formulated and eventually implemented.

Zimbabweans stand ready to chart a roadmap for a Zimbabwe after Mugabe, under the auspices of the United Nations. We are united for the attainment of freedom and democracy under one umbrella.


Phil Matibe


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