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As EU-AU Summit Closes, Mugabe Lashes Back At His European Critics

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe lashed back Sunday at European leaders who admonished him over his record on human rights and governance in the course of the European Union-African Union summit just ended in Lisbon, Portugal.

Mr. Mugabe singled out Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden, whom he dubbed the “the gang of four” and accused of taking orders from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who boycotted the event because Mr. Mugabe would attend.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel rebuked President Mugabe in summit proceedings Saturday, saying the crisis in Zimbabwe “damages the image of the new Africa."

Mr. Mugabe accused his Western critics of “arrogance, that kind of superiority complex that we fight here," and predicted that Europe won’t accept the results of the March 2008 presidential and general elections “because they don’t like the winner.”

Southern African Development Community Secretary General Tomaz Salomao said the European leaders were out of line in bringing up Zimbabwe at the summit, noting that South African President Thabo Mbeki is mediating crisis discussions under the auspices of SADC. "Zimbabwe is our problem, we are dealing with it," he said.

But European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said bad governance, not EU sanctions, was to blame for Zimbabwe's plight. He said the EU is "concerned about the degradation of the economic, humanitarian and political situation in Zimbabwe" adding that the "degradation is to our minds a result of the crisis of governance."

In another gesture against Mr. Mugabe, Anglican Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Ugandan-born and the highest ranking black bishop in his church, cut up his clerical collar during a BBC television interview saying he would not put it back on until Mr. Mugabe left office. "I'm not going to wear a dog collar until (he's) gone," he said.

Washington Times Africa Bureau Chief Geoff Hill, in Lisbon, told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the summit yielded little in the way of trade and development accords, and ended up being mainly about Mr. Mugabe.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...