By John Chimunhu|
Incoming African Union (AU) president Robert Mugabe has been challenged to stop human rights violations by his own regime.
Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s director of research and advocacy said Mugabe was not upholding AU conventions protecting the rights of citizens.
“Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe should use his position as the Chairperson of the African Union to address key human rights concerns in different parts of the continent, including his own country,” said Belay. “There is an urgent need for the African Union to take more concrete steps to effectively address the massive human rights violations resulting from the many conflicts taking place in several parts of the continent. President Mugabe should use his time as Chairperson to restore stability in parts of the region that have been ravaged by conflict.”
Belay said Africa was facing “protracted conflicts that have displaced millions of people”.
“The shrinking of political space and denial of fundamental rights are also major problems in countries such as Angola, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia and Zimbabwe,” Belay said.
Mugabe has committed massive atrocities, ordering the brutal murder of 50 000 Ndebeles, whites and moderate Shonas under Operation Gukurahundi in Matabeleland and Midlands. Thousands more have been killed as the brutal dictator battles to stay in power against a tide of opposition to his rampant corruption and misrule.
Meetings of the opposition and street protests are banned. Independent media broadcasting is also banned and the few private newspapers allowed to publish are severely restricted. Mugabe rules the country with a corrupt military cabal ready to crush a nation frustrated by unemployment, government incompetence and uncertainty.
Belay said Mugabe must urgently address the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria and ensure that elections lined up in several countries in 2015 succeeded.
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