AU chief urges Africa to help Zimbabwe overcome crisis

June 30th, 2008 - 4:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt), June 30 (Xinhua) African Union (AU) Commission chief Jean Ping Monday called on African countries to help Zimbabwe overcome its political crisis in the wake of the controversial presidential election. “Africa must fully shoulder its responsibilities and do everything in its power to help the Zimbabwean parties to work together to help them overcome their country’s problems,” he said at the opening session of the 11th AU summit in the Red Sea resort.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrived Monday at the summit where he would be under pressure to negotiate with the opposition after winning a one-candidate election condemned by monitors as unfair and violent.

Mugabe, 84, flew to Egypt overnight soon after being sworn in for a new term, extending his unbroken rule since independence from Britain in 1980.

During the summit, Jean Ping also hailed the efforts by southern African countries in trying to help solve Zimbabwe’s problems.

Under the theme “Meeting the Millennium Development Goals on Water and Sanitation”, the two-day summit is attended by heads of state and government of 53 members.

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