Canada Comments on Political Developments in Zimbabwe

(No. 26 - January 30, 2009)The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today released the following statement concerning the situation in Zimbabwe:

"In recent months, the crisis in Zimbabwe has assumed tragic proportions. Thousands of Zimbabweans have lost their lives to cholera, and more than 60,000 have been infected. The economy has collapsed and over 70 percent of Zimbabweans require food assistance. Hospitals and schools are abandoned.

"At the heart of this crisis lies an acute failure of governance and leadership. Reports that an inclusive government will be formed in Harare in the coming weeks may provide some hope to Zimbabweans that there is an opportunity for change. However, pronouncements and plans will remain empty unless they are matched by real political will and policy changes.

"Canada has been unequivocal in calling for improvements in freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Zimbabwe. We will continue to assess further developments in this light.

"The continued involvement of regional leaders in monitoring efforts to share power effectively and to deliver real change to Zimbabweans will remain crucial. We encourage their contribution in this regard."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
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Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874