Tutu calls for arms embargo on Zimbabwe

from Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation
Published on 24 Apr 2008
Zimbabwe is staring into the abyss. Violence is growing and the people are suffering greatly as a result. It is now vital that we all do what we can to calm the situation.

In particular I join the worldwide calls to stop the supply of weapons to the country - by land, sea or air - until the political crisis is resolved. It is obvious that supplying large quantities of arms at this stage would risk escalating the violence, perhaps resultingin the large-scale loss of life. We should be proud of the African Trade Unions and governments who refused to let the most recent Chinese shipment off-load in their ports but China must now agree not to try and send these arms by air instead.

I join the South African church leaders in urging all governments to immediately start work at the UN level to agree a binding UN arms embargo as quickly as possible. In the meantime I hope that every country will agree to a moratorium on the supply of any arms to the country.

If violence flares further in Zimbabwe, those supplying the weapons will be left with blood on their hands. It is up to every country in the region and beyond to take a stand.'