|August 17, 2010
Zuma: Progress in national unity
South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma was said to be close to resolving the political impasse in the government of national unity in Zimbabwe. In his report to regional leaders Zuma said that "progress has been made on 24 of the 27 issues" by the political establishment in Zimbabwe, his spokesman, Zizi Kodwa, has noted. However, he refused to divulge details about what the three outstanding issues were or those where progress had been made. Zuma was presenting his report at a two-day summit of regional leaders of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) in Namibia.
Last week, US President Barack Obama maintained that sanctions would not be lifted until Mugabe's party addressed concerns on human rights violations and the persecution of opposition leaders. "There have been discussions when I've travelled with leaders in the southern African region about whether or not sanctions against Zimbabwe are counterproductive," Obama said. "I would like nothing more than to open up diplomatic relationships and economic and commercial relationships with Zimbabwe," he added.
The Sadc has consistently argued that sanctions against Zimbabwe are counterproductive to efforts to settle the impasse between President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai.