Britain will boycott a summit bringing together leaders of the European Union and African states because of the expected presence of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe. Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the Independent he wants to send a powerful message of concern to the leader responsible for widespread torture and the economic collapse of the once prosperous African nation.
Brown also cited Mugabe's intimidation of political opponents. The prime minister "is greatly concerned about the situation in Zimbabwe," said a spokesman. "This is a very serious situation." The Save the Children organization recently issued a report saying that children as young as 7 were fleeing Zimbabwe on foot in the hope of finding work and education in South Africa.