Fresh from victory in an election widely-condemned as a sham, Zimbabwe’s veteran president Robert Mugabe is attending an African Union summit. The crisis in Zimbabwe looks set to overshadow the meeting at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The AU’s senior diplomat, Jean Ping, said Africa must shoulder its responsibilities and help both sides of Zimbabwe’s political divide overcome their differences. Just a day after Mugabe was sworn-in for a new term, regional mediator South Africa urged his ruling ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement for democratic Change to begin talks on a transitional government.
The West has called for new sanctions against Mugabe’s regime. He was the only candidate in the ballot after his rival Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out. Monitors said the vote was undermined by violence and did not reflect the will of the people.
Tsvangirai, who has taken refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harare, has urged AU leaders not to recognize Mugabe’s re-election.