Saturday, May 27, 2006

Zim opposition leader asks UN to intervene

imbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai called on the United Nations on Friday to intervene in his homeland's political and economic crises.

The Zimbabwean government has rejected UN involvement, saying Secretary General Kofi Annan need not make a long-planned visit.

But Tsvangirai, speaking to reporters during a visit to London, said "The Zimbabwe crisis is an international crisis", and Annan should not be deterred.

Following talks in London with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, South African President Thabo Mbeki told reporters on Thursday that Annan had indicated in talks with him earlier this year that he would travel to Zimbabwe for direct talks with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, and was expected to propose a package of aid in return for an assurance that Mugabe would hand over leadership. Neither he nor Blair would elaborate.

Mugabe has led Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

Annan had said last year that he would visit Zimbabwe at Mugabe's invitation. But no date has been set and UN officials have indicated planning the agenda and goals of such a visit is sensitive and difficult.

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