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Southern African Leaders Urge Faster Pace Toward Free, Fair Zimbabwe Elections


The SADC leaders 'noted' but did not adopt the March findings of its troika on politics, defense and security which tacitly reproached President Robert Mugabe for the escalation of political violence in the country

Southern African Development Community leaders on Sunday urged Zimbabwe's contentious national unity government to achieve more rapid progress towards free and fair elections and implement the Global Political Agreement underpinning power sharing.

The SADC leaders "noted" but did not adopt the March findings of its troika on politics, defense and security which tacitly reproached President Robert Mugabe for the escalation of political violence in the country and urged him to accelerate the pace of reform.

But they instructed that troika, which includes South African President Jacob Zuma, mediator for SADC in Harare, to assign a team to work with Zimbabwean officials on issues including preparations for elections. SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao told reporters that the organization hoped to see a road map to elections by its next summit in August.

The final communiqué declared that the summit "encouraged the parties to the GPA to move faster in the implementation of the GPA and create a conducive environment to the holding of elections that will be free and fair under conditions of a level playing field."

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