MDC says failure by AU to act on Mugabe would be "catastrophic"
Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change on
Monday warned African Union heads of state meeting in Egypt that failure to
take action on the country's political crisis could be
In a statement the MDC called on the AU to appoint up to three envoys to mediate in Zimbabwe, whose leader Robert Mugabe was sworn in as president for a further five years Sunday after winning an election derided by the West as a "farce."
Mugabe contested the poll alone Friday after MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out, citing fears for the safety of his supporters.
"If the AU fails to provide firm and decisive leadership on this issue, the consequences could be catastrophic," the party warned.
The MDC has called for "expanded African involvement" in Zimbabwe to loosen the stranglehold of South African President Thabo Mbeki on African diplomatic efforts with the autocratic Mugabe.
The party accuses Mbeki of being biased towards Mugabe over his failure to speak out on gross human rights abuses by Mugabe's regime.
The MDC, in its statement, also asked the AU to send a police force to Zimbabwe to protect the population from state-backed militia attacks that have killed 90 MDC supporters since March.
African leaders meeting in Egypt see a Kenya-style unity government as the best way of ending the country's political impasse but Zanu-PF and the MDC disagree over which leader should head such an arrangement.
A senior South African negotiating team has been in Zimbabwe for several days to broker talks on the issue.
While saying it was "committed" to a transitional solution, under certain conditions, the MDC said there were no negotiations currently taking place between it and Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, dpa reported.