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ACP-EU Parliamentary Forum Again Focuses On Zimbabwe Rights Record

Harare has again come under fire for its alleged human rights abuses and failure to give an accounting of itself at a joint assembly of parliamentarians from Africa, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Europe now under way in Brussels.

ACP-EU parliamentarians are concerned about the deteriorating political and economic situation in the country and the seeming reluctance of the government of President Robert Mugabe to punish alleged perpetrators of rights abuses.

Harare withdrew from the last ACP-EU summit in Germany in June, claiming Berlin had denied visas to some of its delegates. The German government denied the charge.

Sources at the summit in progress said the parliamentarians are unhappy that Harare has not presented a position paper on the general human rights situation, the brutal attack in March in Harare on opposition legislator Nelson Chamisa as he attempted to travel to an ACP-EU gathering, and the democratic process in Zimbabwe.

Harare’s other representative, Senator Forbes Magadu of the ruling ZANU-PF party asked the summit if Zimbabwe could present the report at the next ACP-EU meeting, which is schedule to take place in November in Rwanda.

Some Southern African parliamentarians are said to have expressed the concern that the crisis in Zimbabwe is now having an effect on the whole region.

From Pretoria, Senior Analyst Sydney Masamvu of the International Crisis Group told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the international community now understands the extent of the crisis in Zimbabwe.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...