The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 2, 2008

Statement by the President on Zimbabwe

The continued use of government-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe, including unwarranted arrests and intimidation of opposition figures, to prevent the Movement for Democratic Change from campaigning freely ahead of the June 27 presidential runoff election is deplorable. We call on the regime to immediately halt all attacks and to permit freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and access to the media. We urge the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, the United Nations, and other international organizations to blanket the country with election and human rights monitors immediately.

We also are concerned by reports that misguided government policies are projected to result in one of the worst crop harvests in Zimbabwean history. While Robert Mugabe makes political statements in Rome, his people continue to face empty markets at home. The United States currently feeds more than 1 million Zimbabweans and spent more than $170 million on food assistance in Zimbabwe last year. We will continue these efforts to prevent government-induced starvation in Zimbabwe.

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