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No ‘About’, but this text: The Elders – Current government cannot lead Zimbabwe out of humanitarian crisis … The Elders have released a detailed report on the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe following their recent visit to the region. The report calls on SADC leaders to acknowledge the seriousness of the refugee crisis in the region, stop deportations to Zimbabwe and establish a regional coordination mechanism to address and contain Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic.

Speaking in Paris, where they are meeting privately, The Elders have also expressed their concern about the continuing deterioration of the humanitarian situation, ongoing human rights violations and the inability of the current government to relieve the suffering of their people. They urge SADC to engage more actively in accelerating the transition of power in Zimbabwe to an inclusive power-sharing government.

Three members of The Elders, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former United States President Jimmy Carter and international advocate for women and children’s rights Mrs Graça Machel tried to visit Zimbabwe on 22 and 23 November but were unable to enter the country. Instead they met Zimbabwean political leaders, civil society and business representatives, donors, aid workers and UN agency heads over three days in Johannesburg.

The report of their visit is addressed to Zimbabwe’s political leaders, SADC leaders and donors. It has also been received by the UN Secretary-General and the President of the UN Security Council.

While the focus of the report is the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe, the Elders group as a whole has been following events since their colleagues’ visit, and have added their support to calls for an accelerated transition of power in Zimbabwe.

“There is bitter disappointment in the current leadership,” said Mr Annan. “This government has not demonstrated the ability to lead the country out of its current crisis. The process of transition to an inclusive government must be accelerated and I urge SADC leaders to play a more active role in pressing for that to occur” … (full text).

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