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South African Facilitators Back in Harare to Press for Zimbabwe Unity Solution

After gathering information on the intra-party talks, the facilitators will draft a report that South African President Jacob Zuma will present to the chairman of the SADC troika on politics, defense and security

South African facilitators representing President Jacob Zuma were back in Harare on Monday to encourage negotiators for the three parties in Zimbabwe's unity government to work quickly to settle their differences.

The facilitation delegation reopened discussions with the three principals in the government - President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara - and the negotiators who hammered out the Global Political Agreement which left important aspects of power-sharing unresolved when the government launched 10 months ago.

Sources said that after gathering information on the intra-government talks, the facilitators will draft a report to Mr. Zuma which he will present next week to Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, chairman of the Southern African Development Community's troika on politics, defense and security.

Negotiators for Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change could not be reached. Butsources informed on the talks said agreement has been reached on most of the 27 outstanding issues with an announcement of results likely later this week.

Minister of State Gorden Moyo in the office of Prime Minister Tsvangirai told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that there is progress in the negotiations - but was not at liberty to provide details.

Elsewhere, the United Nations formally announced on Monday that it is seeking US$ 378 million to meet Zimbabwe's urgent humanitarian needs. News of the appeal emerged unofficially last week.

The U.N.'s deputy emergency aid chief, Catherine Bragg, said some 1.9 million Zimbabweans will need food aid in the first three months of 2010. But she said conditions are gradually improving under the power-sharing government and that Zimbabwe is now moving out of crisis into a recovery.

The appeal target is sharply lower than the US$718 million the U.N. sought for hunger- and disease-stricken Zimbabweans in 2009.