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AU Calls for Zimbabwe National Unity Government

  • VOA News

The African Union has adopted a resolution calling for a government of national unity in Zimbabwe following the widely condemned re-election of President Robert Mugabe.

A.U. leaders meeting behind closed doors at a summit in Egypt also called for continued mediation between Zimbabwe's government and opposition.

The measure was approved Tuesday after Botswana released a tough statement which called for Zimbabwe to be excluded from meetings of the African Union and the Southern African Development Community.

Botswana's vice president Mompati Merafhe said Zimbabwe's run-off election last week did not confer legitimacy on the government of President Mugabe.

Diplomats at the closed meeting say the leaders of Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone also spoke in strong terms about the election's lack of legitimacy.

An Egyptian spokesman Hossam Zaki said President Mugabe made a lengthy address during the meeting and lashed out at some African countries who spoke out against him.

Earlier Tuesday, leadership from both the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and the ruling ZANU-PF party indicated they were not interested in further political negotiation.

In a statement from the capital, Harare, Tuesday, MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti says the sham election of June 27th ended any prospects for a negotiated settlement to Zimbabwe's political crisis.

Speaking at the AU summit, Zimbabwe presidential spokesman George Charamba dismissed calls for an Kenya-style shared government, saying Kenya is Kenya and Zimbabwe is Zimbabwe, and the two nations have different ways of resolving conflict.

Western leaders and the United Nations have rejected the results of Zimbabwe's presidential run-off election, saying it was neither free nor fair. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai dropped out of the race in the run-up to the vote because of violence against his supporters.
Zimbabwe was not scheduled to be the focus of the two-day African Union summit, but the run-off controversy has dominated conversation among the leaders.

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