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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 17, 2007

United States Deplores Actions by Mugabe Regime in Zimbabwe

The United States deplores actions taken by the Mugabe regime that have further eroded human and economic liberty in Zimbabwe. The regime's reckless attempts to address self-imposed hyperinflation have resulted in the arrest of at least 2,000 businesspeople, widespread hoarding and profiteering by police and government officials, and shortage of basic staples. Its irresponsible economic policies will only worsen inflation, unemployment, growing food shortages, and poverty. Over four million Zimbabweans, more than a third of the remaining population, are projected to go hungry without assistance from the international community.

The United States will provide 47,400 metric tons of additional food assistance to reduce the suffering of an additional 500,000 Zimbabweans, through the U.S. Agency for International Development's partnerships with the World Food Program and the Consortium for Southern Africa Food Security Emergency (C-SAFE). The total U.S. effort will feed roughly 1.4 million people until the country's next harvest in early 2008.

The Mugabe regime also continues its violent crackdown against the democratic opposition in advance of the March 2008 elections, including the imprisonment, abduction, and torture of democracy activists. This raises significant questions about the regime's commitment to the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) mediation effort led by President Mbeki of South Africa. Many brave Zimbabweans from all spectrums of society are fighting to secure freedom and a better life, and we stand ready to engage a new Zimbabwean Government committed to democracy, human rights, sound economic policy, and the rule of law.

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