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DAR ES SALAAM (May 31) XINHUA
The National and Zanzibar Electoral
Commissions will hold a joint meeting in Zanzibar next Thursday to review last
year's multi-party general elections in Tanzania, a statement said here today.
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) statement said the meeting would be
used to exchange ideas between the two electoral commissions.
The main agenda in the meeting would be the political situation after the
general elections of last year, it said.
The statement noted that the meeting has been organized basing on article 74
(13) of the Union Constitution which requires NEC to frequently meet with their
UN ASKED TO PROBE ZANZIBAR RIGHTS ABUSES
FEATURES AFRICA NETWORK
NEWS BULLETIN, MAY 30, 1996.
The European Union (EU) countries have asked Zanzibar President Salmin Amour
to allow a UN observer mission to investigate reports of human rights
violations in Zanzibar.
The mission is from the human rights department of the United Nations
Secretariat. EU diplomats in Dar es Salaam maintain that they have evidence
of human rights violations in Zanzibar.
"Independent assessment by individual countries have shown that there is
harassment of Opposition members in Zanzibar," the diplomats noted.
"Whatever goes on in the Isles will definitely affect the union government,"
they added emphasising that the EU recognizes Zanzibar as an integral part of
the United Republic of Tanzania.
"We recognize the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the union government as the
spokesman of all matters in the United Republic," diplomats further said.
They noted that donors are waiting for President Benjamin Mkapa to take steps
toward rectifying the situation once he is elected to the chairmanship of the
ruling Revolutionary Party (CCM) later next month.
They also placed hope in retired President Julius Nyerere, now occupied with
the Burundi situation, saying that Nyerere would eventually make moves to
bring the parties and the two governments together to resolve the issues.
TANZANIA-ZANZIBAR: Babu said WESTERN "AID" SANCTIONS NOT THE WAY
LONDON, (May 27) IPS
The methods being used by Western governments to
pressure Tanzania into intervening to end a protracted political crisis on
Zanzibar, were criticized here this week as being inappropriate and likely to
Zanzibari intellectual Dr Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu, an exiled former
Tanzanian economics minister who teaches at London University, said threats
by the West to impose "aid sanctions" on Dar es Salaam represented
"imperialism of the worst sort."
"Aid sanctions against Tanzania by the West is not the right way to solve the
crisis in Zanzibar," he told IPS in an interview.
Rather than lobbying Western countries to force political reforms on the island
through denial of "aid" to the Union Government, opposition politicians should
mobilize the people of both Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania to press for such
Babu was among leaders of the 1963 Zanzibar revolution which paved the way
for a merger the following year of Zanzibar with Tanganyika to form the United
Republic of Tanzania.
He said sustained internal pressure could break the political impasse which
erupted immediately after last October's general elections narrowly won by Dr
Salmin Amour and his Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party. Opposition claims that
the elections were rigged were supported by international observers.
Located in the Indian Ocean 22 miles from Tanganiyika, Zanzibar and its sister
island Pemba have 571,000 people, mainly Moslem with a minority practicing
Since the elections, the main opposition Civic United Front (CUF), which many
observers believe were the actual winners, has refused to participate in the
multi-party parliament. A "campaign of non-cooperation" against President
Amour's government has all but brought government business to a halt.
"I do not support sanctions, because at the end of the day it is the people who
will suffer, not the leaders," said Babu. "The opposition politicians should raise
the awareness of the people so they can solve their own problems. The big
powers have no business there."
CUF has refused to recognize President Amour's authority. Its leaders have
boycotted parliamentary seminars and prevented the setting-up of
parliamentary committees. The government's response has been to
systematically harass CUF Members of Parliament (MP's) and supporters,
Amnesty International says many opposition supporters have been either
intimidated or incarcerated on trumped-up charges. They have been accused of
"sabotage" and of having "secessionist tendencies."
CUF officials say Amour is pursuing a scorched-earth policy against its
supporters, who are mainly descendants of Arabs based on Pemba. It claims
that at least 600 of its supporters have been arrested by security forces while
many in Pemba have had their properties burnt down or otherwise destroyed
for just having voted for the CUF in the elections.
The clampdown has extended to journalists and human rights activists, many of
whom have been harassed by the security forces. One prominent journalists who
writes for the international media, Salim Said Salim, has been prevented from
writing from the islands.
Residents found in possession of "Majira," a newspaper from the mainland, risk
instant imprisonment, according to reports reaching here.
During a brief stopover in London, while on a mission to lobby European Union
(EU) governments, CUF leader Seif Shariff Hamad said it was only a matter of
time before "aid" sanctions were imposed to force the mainland CCM
government into ending its silence and inaction on the troubles in Zanzibar.
Hamad, who believes he was robbed of the presidency, has already persuaded
several European countries -- Denmark, Norway and Sweden among them -- to
cut-off all bilateral aid to Zanzibar until there is an end to human rights abuses
and restoration of democratic reforms.
"We have offered two proposals to solve the crisis, and they have been
rejected," said Hamad.
"The first is that Dr Salmin and his government should relinquish power and the
real winner be installed. The second is that the present government resigns and
be replaced by an Interim government, headed by a neutral person, formed by
both parties pending fresh elections within four months."
If the government continues to refuse to take either course, he added, then
"aid" sanctions must be imposed by the international community on the "senior"
CCM government on the mainland. The CUF leader says that such action would
not amount to imperialism.
Ahmed Rajab, Zanzibar-born editor of the London-based newsletter Africa
Analysis, says only international pressure of the kind being sought by Hamad
could force the intervention of Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa.
Many observers are surprised that President Mkapa has allowed this potentially
explosive situation to simmer for so long -- despite fears it could lead to "the
second Zanzibari revolution."
Mkapa has been praised for his role in healing a rift between President Yoweri
Museveni of Uganda and Kenya's President Daniel arap Moi which smoothed the
path towards the resuscitation of the old East African Community.
However, according to Rajab, Mkapa owes his selection as CCM presidential
candidate to Amour. "It would be a kind of betrayal to move against his friend, "
were he to intervene too vigorously. In recent speeches, the president has
lambasted "opposition terrorists" and praised the Amour Government.
Some analysts believe the mainland CCM Government could move against
Amour in the summer when President Mkapa is confirmed as CCM Chairman --
for which he is the sole candidate. But Rajab is not so sure. He said: "Mkapa may
be more confident then, but I think that only sanctions, or threat of sanctions,
can do the trick."
Clive Thompson, a spokesperson for the British Foreign Office, refused to be
drawn on the question of whether London and its EU partners were considering
anti-Tanzania "aid" sanctions.
"Britain has made its concern known to the governments of Zanzibar and
Tanzania and we are monitoring developments," he said.
Diplomatic sources report that the Tanzanian foreign minister, Col. Jakaya
Kikwete, who is also on a tour of European capitals, has been warned by the EU
that "aid" sanctions could be deployed against his Government if the situation
in Zanzibar continues to deteriorate.
ZANZIBAR PRESIDENT REFUTES REPORTS OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSEFEATURES
FEATURES AFRICA NETWORK
NEWS BULLETIN, MAY 29, 1996.
Zanzibar President Salmin Amour, has denied allegations that his government
is abusing human rights by harassing people from Pemba island.
Amour said this in Zanzibar when speaking to journalists from the Tanzania
mainland at the end of their six-day fact finding mission on human rights.
He also denied reports that after the Zanzibar elections,there have been many
Amour said, in fact Zanzibar has the lowest number of inmates in its prisons
compared to many countries in Africa. Zanzibar's four prisons have a total of
92 inmates and remandees, he stressed.
However, he said his government has been saddened by decisions by various
donor countries which froze their aid to Zanzibar on allegations of human
Amour also expressed concern over donor countries which, he said, have been
interfering in Zanzibar's internal affairs.
The press conference was also attended by the Minister for the Information,
Culture, Tourism and Youth, Issa Mohamed Issa.
Some 14 journalists from Tanzania mainland were invited by President Amour to
see for themselves the situation in Zanzibar.
ZANZIBAR GOVERNMENT ADVISED TO TALK TO OPPOSITION
FEATURES AFRICA NETWORK
NEWS BULLETIN, MAY 25, 1996.
The government of Zanzibar has been advised to have a dialogue with the
opposition Civic United Front (CUF) in order to iron out their differences
and create a condusive environment for economic development.
The acting Japanese ambassador to Tanzania, Shigeyuki Suzuki said that
economic and social development in Zanzibar has almost come to a standstill
since the general elections last October because of the disagreement between
the ruling Revolutionary Party (CCM) and CUF on the election results.
Suzuki was speaking at the hand over of studios of Television Zanzibar to
president Salmin Amour after rehabilitation. Japanese funded the
rehabiliattion which cost 5 million US dollars.
"All parties should refrain from violence, exercise self-restraint and seek
solution to this dispute through dialogue, and agree on terms which will be
acceptable by all Zanzibaris," he advised.
Copyright 1996 Features Africa Network
All rights reserved.
Distributed by Africa Online Inc.
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Zanzibar election Diary Oct.19-27,1995
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