During the bitterly contested Zimbabwe elections between President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the country’s rural areas became effective no-go areas. There were numerous reports of politically motivated killings and widespread rapes, allegedly by members of Zimbabwe’s national army, veterans of the country’s liberation war and members of the ruling party’s youth militia. The violent campaign led Tsvangirai to withdraw from the presidential race, after he had won the first round of voting, although not by the required 50 percent plus one vote. (IRIN)

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