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Zimbabwe Opposition Says Power-Sharing Talks Fail

Zimbabwe's opposition leader says several days of negotiations have failed to break a deadlock in power-sharing talks, and called for African leaders to intervene.

Morgan Tsvangirai said after talks Friday with President Robert Mugabe that the two men had failed to agree on the allocation of key Cabinet ministries.

He said he is committed to a power-sharing deal signed last month but called on the African Union and the Southern African Development Community to help end the deadlock on forming a unity government.

President Mugabe said Friday the discussions went in the wrong direction.

The two leaders held four days of talks in Harare this week meditated by former South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Last week, President Mugabe unilaterally gave his ZANU-PF party several key Cabinet positions that oversee the military, police and foreign affairs. This prompted the opposition to threaten to pull out of the power-sharing agreement.

The original deal, reached in September, was meant to end the crisis stemming from Zimbabwe's disputed presidential elections.

It calls for ZANU-PF to control 15 ministries, with the two factions of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change getting 16. Mr. Mugabe would remain as president, with Tsvangirai becoming prime minister.

The sides are under pressure to reach a final deal so Zimbabwe can start to recover from its deep economic crisis. The country has 80 percent unemployment and an inflation rate officially estimated at 231 million percent.

Witnesses are reporting severe food shortages nationwide, especially in the south.