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Zimbabwean political deal loses U.S. support

Associated Press

The U.S. can no longer support a Zimbabwean power-sharing proposal that would leave Robert Mugabe, “a man who’s lost it,” as president, the top U.S. envoy for Africa said Sunday.

Jendayi Frazer, U.S. assistant secretary of State for African affairs, made the announcement in South Africa after spending the last several days explaining the U.S. shift to regional leaders. The new U.S. stance will pressure Zimbabwe’s neighbors -- South Africa in particular -- to abandon Mugabe. But South Africa said its position was unchanged.

The U.S., Frazer said, has become convinced that Mugabe is incapable of sharing power.

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She cited political moves he has made since September without consulting the opposition, reports that his regime has continued to harass and arrest opposition and human rights activists, and the continued deterioration of Zimbabwe’s humanitarian and economic situation. Particularly worrying, she said, was the rapid spread of cholera, an easily treatable and preventable disease that has killed at least 1,000 Zimbabweans since August.

Frazer, pointing to accusations by the Mugabe regime that the West had waged biological warfare to start the cholera epidemic, said that Mugabe is “a man who’s lost it, who’s losing his mind, who’s out of touch with reality.”

If Mugabe’s neighbors were to unite and “go to Mugabe and tell him to go, I do think he would go,” she said.

But South Africa said the deal under which Mugabe would remain president and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai would be premier was the only way forward.


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