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Britain Says Mugabe Near Category of 'Crimes Against Humanity'


A British Foreign Office minister says Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is following a path that could lead to "crimes against humanity."

Britain's chief Africa minister, David Triesman, told reporters Monday that if Mugabe continues in the same economic and political direction, he could fall into the same category as former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

Taylor is on trial for international war crimes at the Hague, in the Netherlands.

Mr. Mugabe's critics accuse him of wrecking Zimbabwe's economy and ordering a brutal crackdown on opposition leaders.

Last week, the Zimbabwean leader renewed his charge that Britain is seeking regime change in Zimbabwe by supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

The state-run Herald newspaper quoted him as saying Zimbabwe's security forces had heightened their vigilance against what he called "subversive maneuvers."

Dissent has been rising in Zimbabwe as the country tries to cope with 80 percent unemployment, 3,700 percent annual inflation, and shortages of food and fuel.

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