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Botswana's Foreign Minister Says Mugabe Must Be Isolated

Botswana's foreign minister says the international community must isolate Zimbabwe to end the regime of President Robert Mugabe.

In an interview aired on British radio Wednesday, Phandu Skelemani also said African countries need to close their borders with Zimbabwe. Skelemani said President Mugabe could not stay in power if his landlocked country was cut off from fuel for a week.

Power-sharing talks between Mr. Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change have stalled since the sides signed a basic agreement in September.

The talks resumed in South Africa Tuesday, but MDC officials say they are pessimistic about reaching a final deal.

The parties are divided over which will control key ministries in a proposed unity government.

On Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said an agreement is urgent in light of Zimbabwe's humanitarian crisis.

The U.N. says more than 360 people have died and almost nine-thousand have been infected in a cholera outbreak that began three months ago.

Zimbabwe's deputy health minister, Edwin Maguti, said Wednesday the situation is "under control," and that there is no need to declare an emergency. The deputy health minister blamed the cholera cases on sanctions imposed by Western governments.

Those sanctions are travel bans and asset freezes aimed at individual government officials and Mugabe allies. The United States sanctioned four more supporters of Mugabe on Tuesday, saying they had helped the Zimbabwean leader undermine democracy.

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