HARARE - The African Union and continental giant South Africa has called for the US and Europe to lift sanctions on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's regime as he prepares to share power with his rival.
The African Union's executive council adopted a resolution on Saturday ahead of yesterday's summit in Addis Ababa calling for "the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe to ease the humanitarian situation in the country". African Union head Jean Ping, when asked about sanctions levied by the United States and European Union, said: "Everybody should help Zimbabwe to rebuild its economy, because an agreement has been reached.
Since disputed elections in March last year, Zimbabwe's shattered economy has further plummeted. It has the world's highest inflation rate - 231 million percent - and is struggling with a cholera epidemic that has claimed some 3 000 lives.
Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday acceded to a decision by the Southern African Development Community regional bloc that a unity government be formed under a timeline which would see him sworn in as prime minister on February 11.
The 53-nation AU asked members and partners "to solidly back the implementation of a comprehensive pact" to end the ruinous political and economic stalemate.
Mugabe's party, which had previously threatened to set up a unity government with or without Tsvangirai, has said it will accept the timetable.
Pretoria on Saturday said Western nations should take steps to help rebuild the struggling Zimbabwe. - Sapa-AFP