Emergency SADC summit on Zimbabwe postponed

source: SW Radio Africa
By Alex Bell
1 August 2008

The emergency SADC summit that was set to convene on Friday has been postponed, shortly after South African President Thabo Mbeki announced that the talks between Zimbabwe’s rival political parties were to continue on Sunday.

The summit of heads of State and Governments of the Organ of Politics, Defence and Security had been called on short notice following this week’s report that the talks had broken down. Despite Mbeki’s insistence that the talks were “progressing well”, the announcement of the summit, coupled with the South African President’s rush to meet the leaders of the negotiating parties, were the first clear signs that talks had deadlocked.

With little information about the state of the talks available due to the mass media blackout, one can only make assumptions based on such signs. It would appear that while the SADC summit was convened to “discuss the Zimbabwe crisis in light of the talks”, the urgent nature of the meeting might have been used as a threat to push the deadlocked negotiating parties into action. The fact that the postponement came not long after Mbeki’s announcement that the talks were resuming, further fuels belief that SADC used a power card to pressure the parties to resume their negotiating efforts.

The widely accepted belief is the deadlock had been caused by the [continue reading]



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