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African Union Leaders Urge Political Dialogue in Zimbabwe

The African Union called on Zimbabwe Tuesday to create a government of national unity following last week's disputed runoff election that saw Robert Mugabe enter a sixth presidential term. Analysts examine the crisis.

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    It took two days of meetings before the African Union adopted a resolution calling for Zimbabwe to form a government of national unity.

    Throughout this summit, Robert Mugabe remained defiant, standing by the results of a run-off much of the international community labeled a sham. Earlier today, his spokesperson told the world to stay out of Zimbabwe's affairs.

    GEORGE CHARAMBA, Spokesman for President Mugabe: They can go and hang. They can go and hang a thousand times. They have no basis, they have no claim on Zimbabwean politics at all and that is exactly the issue.


    Mugabe ended up running uncontested last Friday. The major opposition party, the MDC, withdrew. Its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, said he couldn't continue to run in an environment in which his supporters were beaten up, arrested, and killed by Mugabe allies.

    Sunday, Mugabe again took the presidential oath.

  • ROBERT MUGABE, President, Zimbabwe:

    … so help me God.


    Once hailed as an African liberation hero, he's now increasingly seen as a dictator, responsible for ruining the country he's ruled for 28 years.

    Tsvangirai and the opposition say Mugabe and his backers controlled a campaign of violence aimed at keeping the president in power. Mugabe ignored international pressure to postpone Friday's election and says he won with 85 percent of the vote.

    Few African leaders have been willing to criticize Mugabe's actions publicly. And most nations on the continent refuse to question the legitimacy of his rule.

    Today, the African Union stood up to Mugabe, calling for Mugabe and Tsvangirai to honor their commitment to initiate dialogue with a view to promoting peace, stability, democracy, and reconciliation of the people of Zimbabwe.

    The United States wants the United Nations Security Council to impose an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and travel bans on its government officials. Through a spokesman, Mugabe dismissed the foreign pressure.


    The way out is a way to find defined by the Zimbabwean people, free from outside interference, and that's exactly what will resolve the matter.

    For as long as we've got some external interest that are seeking to express themselves within our own politics then naturally we have that kind of resistance. Because for us it recalls a certain experience, ugly experience of going through before, that of colonialism.