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Peace=Future

Peace=Future

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition joins the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day of Peace marked annually as a 'global day for ceasefire and non-violence'. According to the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, "This year's observance focuses on youth and development, under the slogan: Peace = Future... The world's concerns will soon be in your hands."

Zimbabwe is home to thousands of youths directly and indirectly affected by politically motivated violence since independence both as instigators and as victims. Owing to the high levels of unemployment and absence of social cohesion, political players have continuously used youths to further their careers.

The commemorations come a few days after Zimbabweans marked the second anniversary of the signing of the Global Political Agreement where, among other things, principals agreed to 'promote the values and practices of tolerance, respect, non-violence and dialogue as means of resolving political differences' and to bring perpetrators of violence to book under Article 18.

Despite the commitments made by the three principals, political violence remains an eye sore with the youth militia unleashing violence on innocent civilians under Operation Chimumu which is broadly aimed at promoting ZANU PF's position on the proposed constitution and silencing dissenting voices. The reactivation of para-military groups including the youth militia ahead of possible elections in 2011 could be detrimental to the outcome of the plebiscite. There is thus need for the inclusive government to deactivate the para-military groups to allow for a conducive environment for the holding of elections.

In addition, the culture of impunity, which has become a trend in Zimbabwe, continues to foster increased rights abuses and retributions by aggrieved parties creating a cycle of violence. If untamed, the generation born out of the cycle of violence will be a generation of dictators and rights abusers.

The Coalition thus calls upon the inclusive government to safeguard the future and interests of generations to come by curbing politically motivated violence and inculcating a culture of peace, tolerance and co-existence among the youths.

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