Zimbabwe: UN report on recent evictions on way to Government

New York, 20 July 2005 - A UN report on the humanitarian aspects of a demolition and eviction campaign in Zimbabwe that rendered hundreds of thousands homeless and unable to earn a living has been sent to the Government of Zimbabwe for its consideration, a United Nations spokesperson said.
The report was drafted by Mr. Annan's Special Envoy, UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, after a two-week fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe earlier this month. It is expected to be made public next week. UN spokesperson, Ms. Marie Okabe, told a news conference that Mrs. Tibaijuka had 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, ten UN Special Rapporteurs on human freedoms and rights expressed concern at what they called "recent mass forced evictions in Zimbabwe and related human rights violations". They raised 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).