U.S. Committee for Refugees Mid-Year Country Report 2001 - Zimbabwe
|Publisher||United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants|
|Publication Date||1 August 2001|
|Cite as||United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees Mid-Year Country Report 2001 - Zimbabwe, 1 August 2001, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ca9869f4.html [accessed 22 July 2014]|
Zimbabwe suffered pre-election violence in 2000 that caused some 10,000 Zimbabweans to become internally displaced. At the beginning of 2001, Zimbabwe hosted approximately 2,000 refugees from various countries.
Recent Political/Military/Human Rights Developments
Political tensions and government repression against domestic political opponents continued during the first half of 2001.
The government of President Robert Mugabe continued to pursue a controversial policy of land reform that aimed to redistribute land held by white farmers to landless black Zimbabweans. Discussions between the government and a union of white farmers to reach a solution to the issue broke down in April. Amnesty International charged in April that Zimbabwe's government condoned or participated in "political killings, beatings, acts of intimidation, and other assaults amounting to torture or ill-treatment" against the civilian population. The international community condemned the government's repressive actions.
New Uprooted Populations
Up to 50,000 Zimbabweans became newly uprooted during the first half of 2001, according to some reports, because of political violence perpetrated by hardline supporters of the ruling party, particularly by so-called "war veterans." Entire communities became displaced because of the violence or the threat of violence. However, the violence apparently did not force foreign asylum seekers to leave Zimbabwe, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Drought conditions followed by torrential rains aggravated Zimbabwe's economic problems during the first half of 2001. Flooding temporarily forced an estimated 30,000 people from their homes in March and April. Experts warned of domestic food shortages.