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Africa summit to assess Zimbabwe

By on September 7, 2009

African leaders are due to discuss political progress in Zimbabwe at a summit of southern Africa’s regional body, Sadc.

The meeting in the Democratic Republic of Congo is expected to highlight economic improvements in Zimbabwe since the formation of a unity government.

But correspondents say Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is likely to call for a timetable for more reforms.

Western sanctions against Zimbabwe will also be discussed at the two-day talks.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai formed the power-sharing cabinet in February in an attempt to end a political crisis that followed last year’s disputed elections.

Zimbabwe report

Mr Mugabe is expected to push for the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) to campaign for the lifting of the sanctions against Zimbabwe, the BBC’s Karen Allen reports from the capital of DR Congo, Kinshasa.

Meanwhile, Mr Tsvangirai will be looking for benchmarks and a clear timetable to deliver on outstanding promises, including political reforms, our correspondent says.

In particular, he is expected to draw attention on what his Movement for Democratic Change party claims are continuing human-rights abuses, controversial key appointments and farm evictions, our correspondent adds.

In Kinshasa, South African President Jacob Zuma, who currently chairs Sadc, will deliver his report on Zimbabwe.

He has promised to be more vocal in his criticism.

But there has been little in his public statements to suggest a hardening of his stance, following talks with principle Zimbabwean players in Harare last week, our correspondent says.


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