Tsvangirai detained again in Zimbabwe
- International Herald Tribune
With only three weeks to go before Zimbabwe's presidential runoff, the police briefly detained the opposition's standard-bearer, Morgan Tsvangirai, on Friday for the second time this week and directed his party to cancel political rallies, effectively preventing him from addressing voters.
At the same time, the Zimbabwean government's requirement that all nongovernmental organizations suspend their humanitarian operations, a decision that grew out of the authorities' allegations that some were supporting the opposition, was condemned on Friday by officials in the United States and Europe, as well as the United Nations.
Relief agencies said the order, issued this week, would deprive millions of desperately poor Zimbabweans of food aid and other basic humanitarian assistance. Unicef, for example, depends on 25 nongovernmental organizations to provide education, health care and food to 185,000 orphans in Zimbabwe.
"It's a horrible situation," said James Elder, Unicef's spokesman in Zimbabwe. "The children and their families continue to find stoic means of surviving, but this is a profoundly disturbing blow to them. We can't reach these children today."