Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Actor Orlando Jones lauches 'Bullet Bucket Challenge'

Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • In pictures: The ministers in France's new government

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rebels 'shoot down' UN helicopter in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Air France pilots threaten September strike

    Read more

  • WHO seeks stricter regulation for e-cigarettes

    Read more

UN: Cholera death toll in Zimbabwe nears 1,000

Video by Luke BROWN , Hélène DROUET

Latest update : 2008-12-16

Hours after the United Nations reported that the cholera death toll in Zimbabwe had reached 978, the UN security Council failed to issue a resolution on the humanitarian crisis due to South Africa's opposition.

 

AFP - African countries must exert more pressure on Zimbabwe to end a political stalemate that has contributed to a humanitarian crisis of extreme concern, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday.

 

In a briefing to the U.N. Security Council that British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called "devastating," Ban said the failure to form a government since March elections has been accompanied by a dramatic deterioration in living conditions.

 

"The current cholera epidemic is only the most visible manifestation of a profound multi-sector crisis, encompassing food, agriculture, education, health, water, sanitation and HIV/AIDS," Ban told the council, hours after the United Nations reported the number of cholera deaths had risen to 978.

 

Ban said 5.8 million people, more than half the population, would need food aid in the months through to March, and nine out of 10 provinces had reported cholera cases in one of the worst epidemics in Zimbabwe's history.

 

President Robert Mugabe lost the first round of presidential elections in March to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, but Tsvangirai withdrew from a run-off citing attacks on his supporters. The two reached a power-sharing agreement in September but have yet to form a government.

 

Miliband said the political impasse was caused by Mugabe's refusal to implement the September agreement and that while the disease in the headlines now was cholera, the heart of the problem was "the disease of misrule and corruption."

 

The cholera epidemic and Zimbabwe's economic meltdown have drawn new calls from Mugabe's Western foes for the resignation of the 84-year-old leader, who has ruled since independence in 1980. Mugabe has accused Western countries of trying to use the cholera outbreak to force him out of power.

 

"There is still denial of the gravity of the humanitarian situation in the country and the collapse of state structures," Ban said in his report to the council.

 

He said the international community must insist on the immediate formation of a government of national unity.

 

The Southern African Development Community has taken the lead on mediations which have been conducted on its behalf by former South African President Thabo Mbeki.

 

Ban said SADC's mediation needed fast results.

 

"SADC leaders should display stronger unity and resolve to address the political stalemate," Ban said, adding that while he was ready to help wherever possible, neither the government of Zimbabwe nor the mediator welcomed a U.N. role.

 

"This clearly limits our ability to effectively help find immediate remedies to the crisis," Ban said.

 

The Security Council met behind closed doors to hear Ban's briefing and did not issue any statement or resolution on the crisis. Council member South Africa has resisted efforts to bring the Zimbabwe situation to the council, arguing that it is not a threat to international peace and security.

Date created : 2008-12-16

COMMENT(S)