UNHCR Calls for Libya Violence Probe

The United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights (UNCHR) has warned that widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity.

In a press statement, UNCHR commissioner, Navi Pillay, condemns the "Callousness with which Libyan authorities and their hired guns are reportedly shooting live rounds of ammunition at peaceful protesters."

NGO Urges Zimbabwe to Investigate Political Violence

An advocacy group, the Centre for Development, has called upon the Zimbabwean Parliament to institute an investigation into the ongoing political violence that has rocked the country since the beginning of the year.
The group says politicians who are sponsoring the violence and public officials linked with intimidating ordinary citizens, should be arrested and punished.

Uganda Criticised Over Election Violence

Ugandan human rights activists have decried the increasing cases of violence ahead of the February general elections in that country.

Speaking at a press briefing in Kampala, HURINET Uganda CEO, Mohammed Ndifuna, says many cases of violence have been registered in the country.

"We condemn the violence and call upon the Police and the Electoral Commission to strictly enforce the law on elections," explains Ndifuna.

CSOs Powerless to Stop Zim Election Violence

Zimbabwean civic groups are calling on the parties in the government of national unity to meet with the country's security chiefs to find ways to ensure there is no interference with the electoral process.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) director, Rindai Chipfunde-Vava, warns that the groups are still powerless to bring about a democratic election because the political environment and government structure has still not changed.

NGOs Assist Victims of Political Violence

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has started investigations into political violence in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo Province with a view of providing shelter to displaced people.

The organisation's information officer, Bekithemba Nyathi, points out that, "We have had meetings with ICRC and the political violence victims to try to come up with intervention strategies of helping identified victims by providing temporary accommodation to displaced victims."

HRW Criticises ‘Pro-Mugabe’ Attacks

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has warned against attacks by supporters of President Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe maps out a new constitution with 13 public meetings called off in Harare.

HRW Africa director, Rona Peligal, states that ZANU-PF supporters and their allies continue to commit abuses with impunity, adding that the country’s police remain partisan.

Peligal calls on the Zimbabwean government to stop the attacks and allow the constitutional outreach to proceed without violence.

Violence Used to Exploit Diamonds – Report

Zimbabwe's political and military elites are using violence and their links to companies to exploit the country's diamond wealth. This is according to a new report from campaign group, Global Witness.

Global Witness campaigner, Elly Harrowell, also criticises the Kimberley Process (KP) certification scheme, created to prevent the sale of ‘blood diamonds’, for what they said was its weak response to Zimbabwe's diamond industry problems.

Namibian NGO Mobilises Against Violence

Khomas Community Voice, established in 2008 as a subdivision of Women's Action for Development (WAD), will host workshops in more than 100 constituencies in Namibia this month, to empower men and women to stand up against violence.

Tony Jarman, a facilitator of Community Voice, says gender-based violence in Namibia has become the norm and warns that Namibians have to urgently address ‘these evil practices to reduce violence’.

Kenya Pledges to Work With ICC

Kenya has pledged to cooperate with the International Criminal Court's (ICC) investigation into deadly post-vote violence in the country in 2007-8 and promised to protect witnesses.

In a summary of the meeting, Kenya says it will ‘fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court and ensure the protection of witnesses from intimidation and violence.

The declaration came at a meeting in Geneva between the UN Human Rights Council and a Kenyan delegation led by its justice minister over the probe into the unrest, which claimed around 1 200 lives.

SMART Takes ‘Die Stem’ Fight to Courts

An anti-racism organisation has prepared an urgent application to go before the high courts in Johannesburg and Pretoria to stop the singing of ‘Die Stem’ and the flying of the old South African flag by Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) supporters.

The Social Movement Against Racial Tendencies (SMART) founder, Panyaza Lesufi, who is also the spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education, says the organisation wrote a letter to the AWB asking them to refrain fromn carrying the old flag.


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