African Union Pushes Unity Government in Zimbabwe

Move a rare shot at Mugabe by leaders
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2008 3:44 PM CDT
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe attends the African Union summit yesterday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The African Union adopted a resolution today calling for President Robert Mugabe to begin negotiations with the Zimbabwean opposition on forming a unity government, Reuters reports. The action marks the first time the AU has censured Mugabe, who once enjoyed a strong reputation as Zimbabwe’s liberator, for his undemocratic practices.

Botswana’s government went significantly further, however, in criticizing its neighbor: “The representatives of the current government in Zimbabwe should be excluded from attending SADC (Southern African Development Community) and African Union meetings," the vice president said, because to do so "would give unqualified legitimacy to an electoral process which cannot be considered legitimate."