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Tsvangirai Detained at Airport Ahead of Development Conference

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had his travel documents confiscated at the Harare airport, preventing him from traveling on to South Africa, where an African development summit is set to begin on Saturday.

Portrait, Morgan Tsvangirai

Tsvangirai was released, but his passport was confiscated

Not long after Tsvangirai reasserted his claim to the rightful presidency of Zimbabwe, he was prevented from travelling to South Africa, where a South African Development Commity summit is set to begin on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Tsvangirai was detained at the airport but later released. However, his travel documents were confiscated by airport immigration officials, his spokesman George Sibotshiwe told news agencies.

Talks between Tsvangirai and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on a power-sharing government broke down earlier this week, after the two men failed to agree on who should be head of government.

Tsvangirai said in a statement that the will of the people had to be upheld, and that meant he should be president. Tsvangirai won a March poll over Mugabe but boycotted a June run-off, citing violence against his supporters.

South African President Thabo Mbeki has been leading talks between the two sides. On Wednesday, Aug. 13, he says that despite the pause, the parties are on a course to a deal.

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