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In Zimbabwe, UNICEF Urges Halt to Demolitions

The United Nations Children's Fund says it is stepping up efforts to reach tens of thousands of women and children affected by Operation Restore Order in Zimbabwe, a government campaign to demolish illegal structures. From Geneva, UNICEF officials said at least 100,000 children have been rendered homeless by forced evictions under Operation Muramabtsvina, or “Drive Out Rubbish.”

Meanwhile, officials at UNICEF’s Zimbabwe office urged Harare to halt evictions until it can ensure the cleanup campaign will not cause harm to children. UNICEF Zimbabwe Communications Officer James Elder said UNICEF is addressing key ministries on this issue and in the aim of expanding relief operations. He would not elaborate on the discussions. Other NGO’s have urged Harare to halt demolitions, but it has rebuffed such requests.

Reporter Patience Rusere of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with Mr. Elder.