AU Summit Expected to Consider Zimbabwe ResolutionBy VOA News
01 July 2008

African Union summit
The African Union is expected to consider a resolution Tuesday on the political situation in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe has begun a new term in office following a discredited election.

Mr. Mugabe received a warm welcome Monday from his peers at the African Union summit, despite calls for the AU to reject his re-election.

Three African observer teams, including that of the AU, have said the poll was badly marred by violence.

African leaders avoided direct criticism of Mr. Mugabe as the summit got under way in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai today left the Dutch Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe, where he had taken refuge after dropping out of the election last week because of violence against his supporters.

An embassy spokesman says the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader now feels it is safe enough to return to his home.

The spokesman added the embassy will stay in touch with the opposition leader, and that he is welcome to return.

The MDC says pro-Mugabe militants killed dozens and injured thousands of party supporters in the run-up to the vote.

Mr. Mugabe was declared the winner of the election Sunday, and immediately sworn in to a sixth term in office.

Zimbabwe was not scheduled to be the focus of the two-day African Union summit, but the runoff controversy has dominated conversation among the leaders.

Several African countries are known to be pressing behind the scenes for a strong statement condemning the runoff. Other countries, including South Africa, are calling for President Mugabe's ZANU-PF party to open talks with the opposition to form a transitional government.

voa news