Zimbabwe Rejects UN Interference as Germany Blames Mugabe | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 15.12.2008
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Zimbabwe Rejects UN Interference as Germany Blames Mugabe

Zimbabwean authorities have said they would block any attempt to put the troubled African country on the UN Security Council's agenda. Meanwhile, Germany's foreign minister called for an end to the political blockade.

Women and children wait to collect water from an underground source following a water cut in Harare

Contaminated water sources are spreading cholera in Zimbabwe

President Robert Mugabe's government said on Monday, Dec. 15, that Zimbabwe was not a threat to international security.

The United Nation's 15-member Security Council was due to meet Monday and the US and Britain were expected to lobby for more international pressure on Mugabe.

"You do not convene a UN Security Council meeting for a sovereign state without consulting that country," Zimbabwe's Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndklovu told the state-owned Herald newspaper.

"We are not a threat. If they insist, we will work hard to block it with the assistance of our friends."

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

Mugabe has said there is no cholera problem in Zimbabwe

World leaders including French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and US President George Bush have called on Mugabe to step down in light of his country's health crisis, economic struggles and political deadlock.

Germany calls for end to stalemate

In a telephone call on Sunday with his Tanzanian counterpart Bernard Membe, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomed the African Union's efforts to coordinate a meeting this week between eight neighboring countries to address Zimbabwe, saying concerted action is needed.

"The situation in Zimbabwe is unbearable," said Steinmeier from Berlin. "The number of people who have fallen victim to the cholera epidemic or been infected is rising rapidly every day."

The epidemic is "another tragic confirmation of the failure" of Mugabe's regime, added the foreign minister.

According to statistics from the UN and the World Health Organization, around 800 people have died from cholera and over 16,000 have been infected.

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since its independence from Britain in 1980, meanwhile remains in deadlock with his political rival Morgan Tsvangirai.

The two signed a peace accord in September but have since been able to agree on who will head key ministries.

In addition to the health crisis, which has been blamed in part on the country's faulty sewage system, Zimbabwe faces runaway inflation of 231 million percent.

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