Zimbabweans faced another day of uncertainty Thursday amid quiet talks to resolve the country's turmoil and the likely end of President Robert Mugabe's decades-long rule. Seizing on the political limbo, a range of voices urged Mugabe to step aside and for the country to transition into free and fair elections, the AP reports. Mugabe has been in military custody and there was no sign of the recently fired deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled the country last week. Grace Mugabe, the wife whose planned rise to power apparently sparked the crisis, is now believed to be under house arrest along with her husband, despite earlier reports that she had fled to Namibia, the Guardian reports.
The military, which seized power early Wednesday, remained in the streets of the capital, Harare, on Thursday. Southern African regional officials are meeting in neighboring Botswana to discuss the crisis, and South African ministers have arrived in Harare for talks with the military and Mugabe. A joint statement by more than 100 civil society groups urged Mugabe—at 93, the world's oldest head of state—to peacefully step aside and asked the military to quickly restore order and respect the constitution. A joint statement by churches also appealed for calm. Analysts believe Mugabe and his wife may seek safe passage to Singapore or Malaysia, where they own property.