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Tanzania rules out military intervention on Zimbabwe
Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ikulu rules out military action on Zimbabwe: Vetoes suggestion by Kenyan PM Odinga

Thisday Reporter
Dar es Salaam
December 10 2008

TANZANIA has categorically ruled out the possibility of authorizing military intervention in Zimbabwe to topple President Robert Mugabe.

This follows a controversial appeal by Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who at the weekend called on President Jakaya Kikwete to push for Mugabe's ouster through military action.

Kikwete is the current chairman of the African Union (AU), and has been deeply involved in international efforts aimed at resolving the worsening Zimbabwe situation.

The State House Director of Communications, Salva Rweyemamu, told THISDAY in an interview yesterday that Tanzania's long-standing position has been that the crisis in Zimbabwe can only be solved through dialogue.

"Only dialogue between the Zimbabwean parties, supported by the AU and other regional actors, can restore peace and stability to that country," he said.

Rweyemamu described the Zimbabwe crisis as "a difficult and not an easy case to handle", that needs extra care to solve in order to avoid triggering an unending civil war "as has happened and is happening in other African countries."

He said the AU will continue to encourage dialogue between the two conflicting sides in Zimbabwe, in search of a "lasting" solution.

According to the Ikulu spokesman, this position was reached at the 11th AU summit held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
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