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DRC President Visits Zimbabwe in Regional Mediation Effort


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Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila is in Harare where he is expected to try to mend the widening cracks in Zimbabwe's unity government.

Mr. Kabila holds the rotating chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community. His trip follows last week's visit by representatives of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security, known as the Troika.

The state-controlled Herald daily newspaper quotes DRC's ambassador to Harare, Mwana Nanga, as saying Mr. Kabila promised Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe he would visit Harare during the SADC summit last September in Kinshasa.

The paper says the visit has nothing to do with last month's decision by Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party to disengage from Zimbabwe's troubled coalition. But analyst Pedzisayi Ruhanya of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition disagrees.

"President Kabila is the incumbent chairman of the SADC and he has come here with a view of understanding what is happening so that he briefs his counterparts adequately. His mission is very clear that he has come to try to narrow the gap of differences between the MDC and Zanu-PF," Ruhanya said.

Meanwhile, the summit recommended last week by the SADC delegation to Harare will take place Thursday in Maputo, the Mozambican capital. Mozambique currently heads the SADC security organ. The other members are Zambia and Swaziland.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa confirmed his party would attend the summit.

VOA tried, but failed, to confirm whether Mr. Mugabe would attend the summit.

The president, speaking at the burial of a veteran of Zimbabwe's war of independence Saturday, said disagreements between the parties to the unity government would be solved by themselves and not by outsiders. To this end, he said, the parties were talking.

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