Zimbabwe: UN report on recent evictions on way to Government

A United Nations report on the humanitarian aspects the evictions of some 200,000 people in Zimbabwe from their homes and markets is being sent to the Government of the southern African country today, just two days after Secretary-General Kofi Annan voiced increasing concern.

The report, drafted by Mr. Annan's Special Envoy, UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka, after a two-week fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe earlier this month, is expected to be made public on Friday or Monday.

On Monday, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told the daily briefing at UN Headquarters that Ms. Tibaijuka conducted an exhaustive examination, with the cooperation of the Zimbabwean Government.

"The Secretary-General is increasingly concerned by the human rights and humanitarian impact of the recent demolitions of what the Government of Zimbabwe has called illegal settlements," she added.

At the end of last month, 10 UN Special Rapporteurs on human freedoms and rights expressed concern over what they called "recent mass forced evictions in Zimbabwe and related human rights violations," and raising questions about the negative effects on supplies of water and food, education and health care, including HIV/AIDS treatment.

The Government should "immediately meet its human rights responsibilities, particularly with regard to the situation of those people who have already been displaced," they said in a statement issued through the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR).