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Zimbabwe Opposition Rejects Unity Government, Mbeki Mediation


Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has rejected the African Union call for a government of national unity. And as VOA's Delia Robertson reports from our southern Africa bureau in Johannesburg, Tsvangirai says he wants no part of a mediation led only by South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Morgan Tsvangirai says in calling for a government of national unity in Zimbabwe, the African Union failed to take into consideration the findings of three African observer groups who said last week's presidential run-off election was flawed and illegitimate.

"The resolution endorses the concept of a government of national unity [GNU] without acknowledging that the MDC, as the winner of the last credible elections on 29 March 2008, should be recognized as the legitimate government of Zimbabwe," he said. "A GNU does not address the problems facing Zimbabwe or acknowledge the will of the Zimbabwean people."

Most importantly says Tsvangirai, the resolution failed to deal adequately with ongoing violence in Zimbabwe which he says continues even now. He says that in the past week nine MDC supporters have been killed, and many more beaten and forced to leave their homes and seek shelter elsewhere.

Tsvangirai says negotiations under these conditions are not possible and that before any talks can take place violence must end and jailed MDC supporters must be released. In addition, he says, militia bases and what he called torture camps must be disbanded.

The AU resolution endorsed South African President Thabo Mbeki as mediator in Zimbabwe, but Tsvangirai says the MDC has reservations about any mediation under Mr. Mbeki.

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