Center for American Progress

Mugabe’s Revenge: Halting the Violence in Zimbabwe
Report

Mugabe’s Revenge: Halting the Violence in Zimbabwe

Report from ENOUGH details how to halt the rising violence surrounding Zimbabwe's contested elections.

Supporters of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change opposition party show their injuries, which they say were sustained during attacks by members of ZANU-PF militia, in Harare, on May 3, 2008. (AP)
Supporters of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change opposition party show their injuries, which they say were sustained during attacks by members of ZANU-PF militia, in Harare, on May 3, 2008. (AP)

Read the full report (pdf)

Zimbabwe is facing a deepening political crisis, marked by state-sponsored violence against opposition party supporters. Following the March 29 presidential and parliamentary elections, in which the opposition won control of parliament and won more votes in the presidential contest, the government unleashed a nationwide campaign of violence against opposition groups. At least 32 supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change, or MDC, have been killed, over 700 have sought medical treatment, over 6700 have been displaced, and over 1000 people have been arrested. All signs point to the situation worsening, with the government using violence and intimidation ahead of a runoff presidential election announced by the government.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has never been so close to losing power, and appears willing to use all means available to physically beat his opponents into submission. As the international community considers its response to the complex crisis in Zimbabwe, its first order of business must be to stop the violence. The United States must diplomatically engage with African leaders to discuss a common way forward and put pressure on the regime to end the violence.

The United Nations Security Council must send a monitoring team to investigate the violence and make recommendations to the Council. The Security Council should also refer the case of Zimbabwe to the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity. The international community should further Zimbabwe’s diplomatic isolation through an arms ban and expanded targeted sanctions against top officials within the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, or ZANU-PF.

In order to prevent an escalation of the violence and degeneration into state-sponsored mass atrocities— as have been seen before under Mugabe’s direction—the international community must also act to ensure that a legitimate, democratic government is seated in Zimbabwe. U.S. diplomats should coordinate with African leaders to develop a plan of incentives pressuring Mugabe to leave, and an alternative plan should he defy the democratic will of Zimbabwe and remain in power.

Read the full report (pdf)

Information About the Enough Project:

ENOUGH is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. With an initial focus on the crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, and northern Uganda, ENOUGH’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. ENOUGH works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. To learn more about ENOUGH and what you can do to help, go to www.enoughproject.org

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.

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