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Tuesday, January 24, 2017
London: protesters call on South Africa to speak up for Zimbabwe
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¬†Christians from several denominations joined a small demonstration in London on Saturday to speak out against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. Organised by the 'End the Silence' campaign, the protest was held on the day South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma gave a speech, at a conference marking the 10th anniversary of the end of apartheid in South Africa. The group, assembled outside the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in Westminster, and then marched to Trafalgar Square to spread their message. Ralph Mguni, spokesperson for the End The Silence campaign, said the group were calling on the South African government to speak out against the violent regime of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe. "This has been a quiet side issue for too long," he said. Mr Mguni said the timing was right for South Africa to make a declaration condemning the situation in Zimbabwe and prompting an international movement for change in the African country. "South Africa should now be able to come in support of the suffering of the people in Zimbabwe and stand up and be counted, and say what's happening in Zimbabwe is completely against human rights. South Africa is the most powerful neighbour Zimbabwe has, it really holds the lifeline to Zimbabwe. "We believe that if South Africa really stood up and said what Mugabe is doing is completely wrong he would not last. Most of the time South Africa has said what's happening in Zimbabwe is an African affair ≠ we're saying it's a human affair." A Catholic priest who took part in the demonstration told ICN: "We cannot stand by and watch what is happening in Zimbabwe. Just a few hours away from London, people are starving." Zimbabwe however was not a major concern in the speech of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She focussed mainly the need to promote trade with South Africa and called on those who had campaigned against apartheid to now support investment and trade with South Africa. Defending her country's position on Zimbabwe, she said: "We believe Zimbabweans themselves, across party political and other divides, are responsible for resolving their problems on the basis of the will of the people."
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