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Mugabe: Powerful Few Individuals Fueling Refugee Crisis Worldwide

FILE: United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, left, meets Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at State House in Harare, Wednesday, May 23, 2012. Pillay is on a first ever mission by a UN Human Rights chief to Zimbabwe, at the invitation of the Government. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

President Robert Mugabe, who arrived in New York for the United Nations General Assembly amid protests by Zimbabweans at home and in USA demanding that he should step down for allegedly running down Zimbabwe, says the refugee crisis is being fueled by a powerful few in various countries attempting to consolidate their grip on power.

His remarks came at a time his own government at the weekend crushed public protests demanding electoral reforms ahead of the 2018 general elections.

Addressing the United Nations Refugee Summit in New York today, Mr. Mugabe said leader should exhaust all channels before resorting to forceful means of settling internal political disputes.

“Apart from natural disasters, large scale movements are in great measure a result of direct commission and omission by humankind. Consequently, therefore, more effort must be exerted towards peaceful settlement of disputes under Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter.

“More often than not, member states have been too keen to resort to force without exhausting peaceful means. This hegemonic military doctrine and adventurism fueled by a desire to achieve the narrow interest of a powerful few is at the root of the proliferation of armed conflicts which has spawned so many refugees today.”

He added that some recent efforts to combat terrorism have tended to trample down upon the rights of migrant communities and refugees. “While states have a legitimate right to take appropriate measures to protect their citizens from terrorism there is great risk of mimicking the very same terrorist scourge. Should we in the process disregard and wantonly violate their fundamental rights?”

President Mugabe further expressed reservations over the manner in which some refugees fleeing conflict zones like Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine and other nations are being treated by developed nation.

There are millions of Zimbabwean economic and political refugees living in other nations.