From Violence to Reconciliation?: The implementation of the Muafaka accord on Zanzibar

A lunch seminar organised by the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights

Guest speakers:

Hon. Seif Sharif Hamad, Secretary General of Civic United Front
Ismail Jussa, Deputy Director of Foreign Affars, Civic United Front

Time:

Tuesday, April 20, 1200-1400

Schedule:

1200    Lunch
1230    Introductions by guest speakers
1300    Discussion

Venue:

Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, Universitetsgt. 22-24, Seminar Room

Registration:

No later than Monday, April 19 if you wish to join us for lunch
Tel: 22842001
Registration is not necessary if you arrive after lunch

Background:

The 1995 and 2000 Zanzibar elections have been criticised by international observers as flawed and rigged by the CCM government party. In the aftermath of the 2000 elections, popular protests against the government were cracked down by riot police and military forces. This resulted in about 30 people being killed and more than 2000 Zanzibaris fled the island and sought political asylum in Kenya. On this background, a strong international and domestic pressure was put upon the Zanzibari government in order to establish peace on the islands. The result was the Muafaka reconciliation accord which came into force in 2001, endorsed both by the Zanzibar government party CCM and the main opposition party CUF. The main objective of the accord is to create a level playing filed and a conducive atmosphere for the upcoming elections in 2005.

During the last few weeks the political tension on Zanzibar has increased dramatically, as the government has crack-downed on new demonstrations, and protesters have thrown home-made bombs on both government and tourist targets. Tanzanians from the mainland are also reportedly being harassed by islanders, in order to force them off the islands.

How is the implementation of the Muafaka accord influenced by the increased political tension on Zanzibar? Will the government party and CUF manage to come to an agreement on the remaining issues to be dealt with prior to next years election? What is at stake on Zanzibar if the Muafaka fails? These are some to the key issues to be addressed at the seminar.