[JURIST] A UN spokesman has condemned the Zimbabwe government's mass evictions and arrests [JURIST report] of nearly 200,000 citizens living and trading in street dwellings as "gross human rights violations" and urged an end to the actions. In a statement [text], UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing Miloon Kothari cited the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights [text], which Zimbabwe ratified in 1991, declaring that "forced evictions are prima facie incompatible with the provisions of the Covenant. Zimbabwe officials say the evictions are designed to clean city streets of illegal traders and structures built by the homeless. The evictions have met opposition from some Zimbabwae officials, including Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, mayor of hard-hit Bulawayo [profile], who has called the actions a war against the poor. Late last week, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe [Wikipedia profile] ordered the evictions and arrests halted pending police review [JURIST report]. Reuters has more. The Independent has local coverage.