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Negotiations for Zimbabwe's Unity Government at an Impasse

Friday, Oct. 10, 2008

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Three weeks after Zimbabwe's historic powersharing agreement was signed in Harare on Sept. 15 by President Robert Mugabe and opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, the country's national unity government has yet to materialize. The three rivals have failed to resolve a standoff over key cabinet positions, with the opposition accusing the Zimbabwean leader of trying to make it a junior partner in the proposed unity government.

According to the deal, brokered by former South African President Thabo Mbeki under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Mugabe's ZANU (PF) party is entitled to 15 cabinet posts, Tsvangirai's MDC 13, and MDC's splinter faction, led by Mutambara, the remaining three. However, the agreement's failure to specify which ministries should go to which party has resulted in the current impasse. ...

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