Africans, G8 disagree on Zimbabwe

July 8, 2008 at 7:43 AM
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TOYAKO, Japan, July 8 (UPI) -- African Union nations and the Group of Eight leaders meeting Tuesday in Japan failed to agree on how strongly to deal with the situation in Zimbabwe.

The AU is resisting calls to slap economic sanctions on the regime of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, whose supporters have been accused of slaying scores of political opponents in an effort to tilt last month's presidential election in Mugabe's favor. The African leaders said they believe they can negotiate a power-sharing agreement between Mugabe and the rival Movement for Democratic Change, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

The United States and Europe, however, are pressing for punitive action against Zimbabwe. Appearing at a news conference Monday with U.S. President George Bush, AU Chairman Jakaya Kikwete said, "The only area where we may differ is on the way forward. "We are saying no party can govern alone in Zimbabwe and therefore the parties have to work together."

Despite the differences over how to proceed, U.S. officials told the Financial Times there was broad agreement with the African leaders on the need to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis.

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