LAGOS (IRIN)—Leaders of a three-member Commonwealth committee
on Zimbabwe ended talks in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on agreement of
fresh sanctions against President Robert Mugabe.
Australia’s John Howard, South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian
President Olusegun Obasanjo were expected to review sanctions imposed on
Zimbabwe in March following controversial elections—hotly disputed by
the opposition and condemned by foreign observers—which returned Mugabe
"There was a difference of opinion," Mr. Howard said at a late
September press conference held jointly with Obasanjo and Mbeki.
"We’ve agreed that it’s necessary to continue to try to engage with
President Mugabe in the interests of all the people of Zimbabwe," Mr.
Mbeki was quoted as saying.
The Commonwealth, which unites Britain and 53 of its former colonies,
set up the committee at the last summit of the group in Australia early
Zimbabwe is facing its worst political and economic crisis since
independence in 1980, with Mr. Mugabe’s policy of seizing White-owned
farms under his land resettlement program coinciding with a severe
drought affecting most of southern Africa.