Human rights violations in Zimbabwe increased in February to levels close to those seen two years ago at the time of the formation of the country's national unity government, the Zimbabwe Peace Process said in a new report issued Tuesday.
The group recorded 1,209 cases of politically-motivated violations last month, compared with 979 in February 2010. It recorded 1,285 cases in February 2009, it said.
The Peace Project attributed the resurgence in political violence to bickering within the national unity government, expectations of new elections, and the campaign against Western sanctions launched by President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.
The group noted increased military deployments nationwide. It said soldiers are working with ZANU-PF youth and war veterans to bolster the party's grass-roots structures.
It said Movement for Democratic Change supporters continue to bear the brunt of human rights violations, noting that reports to police often lead to the arrest of victims.
Zimbabwe Peace Project Chairman Wellington Mbofana told reporter Patience Rusere that said his group is concerned as violations are likely to increase.
Political analyst Effie Dlela Ncube told reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that the sharp rise in violence in peaceful provinces like Matabeleland and Midlands is worrisome.