Zimbabwe Bars Carter, Annan, Mandela's Wife

Ex-prez, Annan aimed to work on humanitarian crisis
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 22, 2008 10:57 AM CST
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai addresses reporters in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008. He will meet Carter, Annan, and Nelson Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, in Johannesburg.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Zimbabwe has denied Jimmy Carter, former UN chief Kofi Annan, and the wife of Nelson Mandela entry to the country to review its humanitarian crisis, Reuters reports. Even the support of former South African president Thabo Mbeki, who's been trying to mediate an end to the ongoing political stalemate, wasn’t enough to get the trio visas. “The government has made it clear they will not cooperate,” Annan said.

“Our purpose in coming here was never to be involved in the political issues that have been so controversial in the establishment of a new government in Zimbabwe, but only to help with the humanitarian issue,” Carter said. “We will continue to do that.” A power-sharing agreement reached in September between Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai fell apart over appointment of ministers, and the economy continues to deteriorate.