Human rights activists are stepping up pressure on France to withdraw its invitation to Zimbabwe to take part in the France-Africa Summit it is holding next month.
The Feb. 18 summit in Cannes falls two days before the European Union is scheduled to rule on whether to extend or relax targeted travel and financial sanctions against top Zimbabwean officials and associates of President Robert Mugabe.
Activists have expressed outrage at what they say is official France's lack of solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe. One such group, Action for Southern Africa, has called a demonstration at the French Embassy in London later this week.
The group's director, Euan Wilmshurst, explained to reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 For Zimbabwe why his group is trying to pressure France.
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