Kenyan premier calls for African Union troops in Zimbabwe

June 29th, 2008 - 5:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Nairobi, June 29 (DPA) Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has called on the African Union to deploy troops in Zimbabwe to take control from President Robert Mugabe, reports said Sunday. “Mugabe is a shame to Africa and the African Union should take its soldiers to Zimbabwe to free the people in that country,” The Sunday Nation quoted Odinga as saying in a speech in a rural constituency.

The Kenyan premier, who has been one of Mugabe’s fiercest critics, said that his nation would not recognize the results of Friday’s run-off presidential election, in which Mugabe was the sole candidate.

“President Mugabe went ahead with the fake elections in which he competed against himself. That was a fake victory and we do not recognize it,” Odinga said.

“You cannot say you have won an election in which you arrest your opponents, where you beat and kill your opponents, where people cannot campaign because you have locked them up in jail,” he added.

The Zimbabwe Election Commission is expected to announce Sunday that Mugabe has overturned his defeat in the first round of voting in March.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s failure to win the first round outright led to a spate of militia attacks on his supporters that killed around 90 people.

Tsvangirai pulled out of Friday’s run-off, saying he did not wish to endanger the lives of his supporters by continuing.

Odinga became prime minister earlier this year as part of a power-sharing deal aimed at defusing post-election violence.

Around 1,500 were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced after Odinga said that president Mwai Kibaki stole the presidential elections from him.

Many analysts see Kenya’s grand coalition as a possible model to solve Zimbabwe’s political crisis.

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