Tsvangirai turns to continent for help with talks

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, pictured, will ask regional leaders to help resolve the deadlock in power-sharing talks with President Robert Mugabe's party, an opposition spokesman said yesterday.

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, pictured, will ask regional leaders to help resolve the deadlock in power-sharing talks with President Robert Mugabe's party, an opposition spokesman said yesterday.

A weekend summit of leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) failed to push Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change and Mugabe's Zanu-PF to agree to a deal that could bring an end to Zimbabwe's crippling crisis.

Tsvangirai headed for Botswana yesterday on a regional tour expected to last 10 days to ask southern African leaders for help in removing obstacles that have emerged in the talks that began nearly a month ago.

"The Zimbabwean issue is far from resolved," Tsvangirai's spokesman, George Sibotshiwe, said.

"So the continent as a whole has a responsibility to continue to engage with us in finding solutions.

"Part of it is actually a process of trying to unlock the deadlocks that have emerged in the negotiations."

Zimbabwe's justice minister Patrick Chinamasa said power-sharing talks would continue under the mediation of President Thabo Mbeki.

"We hope a deal can be finalised in the fullness of time," Chinamasa said.

Regional leaders fear the potential impact of total meltdown.

Officials close to the negotiations have said there is disagreement on who would control the government - the sticking point that has hindered efforts to rescue the country's shattered economy after years of neglect.

Chinamasa, who is also chief negotiator for the ruling party, said yesterday negotiations would push ahead. - Reuters

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