Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 13:25 GMT

Top UN human rights official urges Zimbabwe's president to ensure peaceful elections

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 24 May 2012
Cite as UN News Service, Top UN human rights official urges Zimbabwe's president to ensure peaceful elections, 24 May 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4fc5ed922.html [accessed 21 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
On her first-ever visit to Zimbabwe, the top United Nations human rights official has urged President Robert Mugabe to ensure that the country's next elections will be free and fair and held in a peaceful atmosphere.

"It was a very important meeting with President Mugabe, where he recounted to me the past history of Zimbabwe and attributed some of the current problems to the past," the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said after meeting Mr. Mugabe in the capital, Harare, yesterday.

"I commended the President for making a call that there should be no violence in future elections. I urged him to continue to make such calls. I also urged him to ensure that the future elections will be free and fair and free from violence," said the High Commissioner, who arrived in the country last Sunday on a five-day mission.

While a date for Zimbabwe's next elections has not been set, they are due sometime in the next year.

During her visit, Ms. Pillay has also met other Zimbabwean leaders, including Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who told her that there are still challenges in the country, despite the formation of the Government of National Unity (GNU) in 2009. The GNU was formed as part of an effort to stop the violence that accompanied elections the previous year, when Mr. Tsvangirai ran against Mr. Mugabe in the presidential polls.

"The Prime Minister was very firm, forthright and convinced me of his commitment towards protecting human rights and his goal is also to have successful elections here," Ms. Pillay said about her meeting with Mr. Tsvangirai.

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