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Mugabe Calls For Unity; Slams Western Nations


Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has called for unity in the nation's power sharing government, while criticizing the West for putting conditions on aid to his troubled nation.

Speaking Saturday at a state funeral, Mr. Mugabe called on members of the unity government to speak with one voice and show they are truly united.

Mr. Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change formed the unity government earlier this year, after months of difficult negotiations and strong pressure from regional leaders.

On Saturday, Mr. Mugabe lashed out at western nations that have balked at offering more aid to Zimbabwe without further political reforms. He said Zimbabwe should not humiliate itself any further and only go to those friends who are prepared to work with them on equal terms.

Mr. Tsvangirai recently toured the United States and Europe seeking aid to the nation, which has been on the verge of economic collapse for months. Western nations pledged support but said they wanted to see more progress.

The government has had some success toward lifting Zimbabwe out of a deep economic crisis marked by years of food shortages and hyperinflation. But that progress has been hindered by internal disputes, especially over which side will control two key positions, attorney general and central bank governor.

Last month, Mr. Tsvangirai threatened to quit the government, accusing the ZANU-PF of treating MDC members with disrespect and contempt.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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