RealNews

South Africa fails to find backers for Zimbabwe

The regime of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe looked increasingly isolated on Friday after an expected show of support by other African Commonwealth countries fell away. South Africa, which has campaigned to end Zimbabwe’s suspension from the Commonwealth, failed to rally the backing it sought at a meeting of heads of government of the 54-nation organisation. However, Britain was clearly disappointed that the meeting finessed the issue rather than simply reaffirming the status quo. Tony Blair, prime minister, said: “It would have been better to deal with it straight away.” Participants in Friday’s session said South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki was alone in presenting a vigorous defence of Zimbabwe’s case for readmission. The failure to gather a significant lobby – which would have split the Commonwealth – became clear at a meeting of African and Caribbean ministers on Thursday night, which officials described as “acrimonious”. Full Story

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