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Zimbabwe / Election - 2002-02-12

A former top American diplomat says continuing international criticism of President Robert Mugabe ahead of next month’s presidential election will not change Mr. Mugabe’s mind. Former Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Herman Cohen says Mr. Mugabe’s land reforms are justified but that he is going about it in the wrong way. He told English to Africa reporter Chinedu Offor that Zimbabwe may descend into chaos if the violence continues. He says current US policies towards Zimbabwe could help bring peace to Zimbabwe; he said the threat of withholding financial aid may encourage the government to implement reforms and protect human rights.