23 June 2008

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Seeks Refuge At Dutch Embassy

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has gone into hiding in the Dutch embassy in Zimbabwe, a day after he announced he was pulling out of the presidential run-off election. Tsvangirai announced on Sunday that violence was the major reason for withdrawing from the race, as it made it impossible to have a free and fair election.

MDC Treasurer Roy Bennett told Newsreel that Tsvangirai has been forced to seek refuge in the Dutch embassy because the party had received credible information of his imminent arrest.

Bennett said Tsvangirai could not take refuge in any African embassies, as the ZANU PF government had shown no respect for them. "We understand just last week they did a forced entrance into the Botswana embassy and took two vehicles, and therefore it wouldn't be safe for him (Tsvangirai) in any of the SADC or African country embassies."

The news comes amidst more reports of violence and arrests in Zimbabwe despite the MDC leader pulling out of the presidential race. The MDC headquarters were raided Monday and at least 60 opposition supporters were arrested. They were mostly women and children who had fled the rural violence.

Since the first round of election was held on March 29th the MDC says over 85 MDC supporters have been killed, 200 000 people internally displaced, 20 000 houses have been destroyed and 10 000 people injured and maimed in this orgy of state sponsored violence.

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