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ASSOCIATION OF EVANGELICALS IN AFRICA - March 2004 #3

March 3, 2004

ASSOCIATION OF EVANGELICALS IN AFRICA
ETHICS, PEACE AND JUSTICE DESK
NEWS BRIEFS & PRAYER ITEMS
March 2004 #3

ZIMBABWE

The political crisis in the country has prompted USA to pile pressure on the Zimbabwean government accusing it of gross violation of human rights by adding seven individuals on the sanction’s list. This comes shortly after the European Union also impossed sanctions on Zimbabwe, citing human rights abuses. The move which was effected last week targets specific individuals who are said to be undermining Zimbabwe’s democratic institutions. The deparment of treasury’s office of Foreign assets Control which has been identifying individuals who are undermining Zimbabwe’s democratic institutions target businesses owned and controlled by the said individuals.

The EU impossed sanctions on Zimbabwean leaders demanding an end to politically motivated violence, commitment to free and fair elections, protection of the freedom of the press, independence of the judiciary and an end to the illegal occupation of farms. Meanwhile Australia has also pronounced its sanctions on Zimbabwe. All the three countries say that the government should open immediate talks with the opposition but their calls are so far in vain. .


ZIMBABWE
Six people were injured when allerged ruling party militia invaded the venue of an opposition rally held in the east of Harare, attacking the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party members. The rally was organised to launch the oposition campaing for the by election on 27 and 28 March. Two vehicles were seriosly damaged, six people injured and equipment stolen. After attacking the members who were preparing the venue, the youths moved around the area in vehicles attacking anyone seen travelling to the rally, the MDC reports.


ZIMBABWE
The Zimbabwean Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church, Pius Ncube has appealed to the South African churches (SACC) to intervene urgently in the human rights situation and not wait wait for approval to send a task team to the grieving country. Ncube who was in South Africa last week to garner support for increased pressure on Zimbabwe’s President to enter into talkes with the opposition ahead of the 2005 parliamentary elections said, they should respond urgently. The arch bishop met the senior clergy including the Anglican Bishop Njongonkulu Ndungani and the SACC general, Dr Molefe Tshele and The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa, Secretary, Pastor Moss Ntla. Ncube urged them not to wait for protocol saying “people are dying right now’ as his visit coincided with a resolution by the SACC to send a task team to Zimbabwe as soon as the organisation received a green light from its counterparts.

Pray that the crisis in Zimbabwe comes to an end and that the mediation role of the church is realised fruitfully. Pray that the voice of the church be taken with the seriousness it deserves..

SUDAN
Hundreds of Sudanese children marched for peace in the capital Khartoun demanding an end to the 21 year civil war which they said was depriving them ‘ of milk, food and medical treatment’. The children aged between & and 14 were from around the country and were marching to the president’s palace in Khartoun. They held hands, lit tourches in an appeal for peace. The appeal will be handed to Kenya where peace talks are taking place, by a child representative fron the five that will be sponored by the organiser Sudan Peace Dignity.

Pray that the noble cause of these children is realised and that the church manages to fulfil its role in mediation and restore peace in Sudan..

NAMIBIA
The Namibian government will begin taking land from the white farmers within the law, the minister of land Mr Pohamba said in his speech to parliament. The move which was influenced by the political pressure ahead of this year’s elections has seen the government purchasing land from farmers who wish to sell land for redistribution. The minister reports that the government has adequate funds to kick start the process. However, the procees will now take a forceful turn as the people who should be benefiting from the land reform are getting impatient.

Pray that this exercise does not turn into violence just as happened in Zimbabwe. Pray also that the church may be able to mediate successfully in the process so as to avoid violence and human rights abuses.

SOUTH AFRICA
The church in South Africa is willing to accept the Haiti President, Jean/Bertrand Aristide if it can produce peace, said the secretary of The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa, Pastor Moss Ntla. Last week there were speculations that the Aristide president will seek haven in South Africa after he quit the presidency of Haiti. Speaking from a telephone interview this week the Pastor said they will accept Aristide decision only if “ it can produce peace. The church is an agent of peace”.Aristide fled to the Central Africa Republic where he was accepted on purely humanitarian grounds but the period of his stay there was not certain.

MORE
The Election Institute of South Africa will hold meting to train South Africa Council of Churches (SACC), the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA) and the Catholic Bishops as electoral process observors. The three groups have been part of the electoral process since 1990. the move is welcomed by the three gfoups who believe that it will not only allow them to monitor the election but enhance their peace building mission.

SOUTH AFRICA
Campaing violence is still continuing in South Africa after a bus carrying Democratic Alliance activists was stonned by youths wearing African National Congress (ANC) T- shirts. It is reported that ANC is trying to wrest control of KwaZulu –Natal from Inkatha Freedom Party which formed a coalition with with the Democratic Party. Violence has continued dspite the agreement by parties to act Against it.

Pray for the work of The Evangelical Alliance of SA and the South Africa Council of Churhes who are working hard to bring peace in that country..