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African Union Rejects Call for Action on Zimbabwe Demolitions

The African Union has rejected calls to pressure the Zimbabwe government to stop its demolition of illegal houses and market stalls, saying it is an internal matter for Zimbabwe.

AU spokesman Desmond Orjiako says Zimbabwe's government has a right to conduct its business without outside interference.

He also said it is in the interest of Zimbabwe's government to prevent crime and ensure the capital, Harare, does not become a slum.

Britain and the United States have sharply criticized the Zimbabwe government over the demolitions -- and have urged its neighbors to intervene.

The United Nations says more than 250-thousand people in Zimbabwe's urban areas have had their houses and market stalls razed in the past month.

Zimbabwe says the crackdown is necessary to reduce crime.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, Reuters and BBC.