Day By Day

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Zimbabwe Update -- Same Old, Same Old

The Australian reports:

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe is rejecting pressure from fellow African leaders to re-start talks with the opposition on political reforms, the state-run Herald said overnight.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, the current chair of the 53-nation African Union, met Mugabe twice last week on the sidelines of a AU summit in Libya to press him to re-open negotiations with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

South African President Thabo Mbeki also held a meeting with Mugabe in Sirte to push for crisis talks with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the newspaper said.

But Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba was quoted in the report as saying that the only contact that the government would have with the MDC would be in parliament.

Read it here.

When these talks were announced, there was some hope expressed that Mugabe could be convinced to make some concessions. At the time I was skeptical, and apparently that sense was well founded. Mugabe won't change. He is absolutely relentless and he can intimidate his neighbors by appealing to anti-colonialist sentiment in their homelands. But, as I have noted before, he is getting older every day and there are plenty of people in ZANU-PF who are aching to replace him. Some of them have been talking with western representatives.

Stay tuned....

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