Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tsvangirai seeks talks with Mugabe

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai returned home briefly today after seeking refuge in Dutch embassy since Sunday. But after holding a press conference at his home in Harare he quickly returned to the embassy. During the press briefing he called for UN intervention in Zimbabwe and dismissed the Friday run-off election as a sham. In Britain meanwhile, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been under pressure to increase sanctions against the country. And today critics of the Mugabe regime were handed a small victory of sorts as the government announced Zimbabwe’s cricket team would be barred from playing in England as part of the 2009 tour. The Prime Minister’s spokesman was quoted as saying, "Under the current circumstances it is the Government's view that the tour would clearly be unwelcome." [Sky News / BBC / CNN].

Back in Harare, the MDC leader said he was willing to talk with Robert Mugabe but laid down a number of preconditions. “This country is burning and the only thing to do is to sit down and talk about it” Morgan Tsvangirai said. He said that all the violence must stop and road blocks throughout the country should be removed. He also called on the government to allow humanitarian aid workers to continue their efforts asked that political prisoners be released. Asked if he feared for his own safety, he told al-Jazeera that “everyone was exposed to risk”. The risks were high enough for the MDC leader to return to his refuge at the Dutch embassy.

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