Annan, Carter barred from Zimbabwe

November 22, 2008 12:00 am

, HARARE, November 22 – Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter have canceled their planned visit to Zimbabwe, reports from agencies said on Saturday.

The move came after Annan and Carter were denied of entry visas, the reports said.

"We had hoped to go to Zimbabwe this morning but we had to cancel because the (Zimbabwe) government has made it clear they will not co-operate," Annan told reporters in Johannesburg.

The former UN chief also said the group had been denied of travel visas to Zimbabwe.

Annan, Carter and rights activist Graca Machel, wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela, announced last week that they would visit Zimbabwe this weekend.

However, the Zimbabwe government on Thursday advised them to defer their intended visit to a later date as Zimbabwe was currently occupied with the ongoing inclusive government talks and preparations for the summer cropping season.

The Zimbabwe government also advised them to recognize that their intended visit had failed to recognize that Zimbabwe is currently in negotiations through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitation and the country is currently busy on its agricultural activities and end of year programs.

The Zimbabwean authorities also indicated that they were not in a position to handle the visit at this time of the year.

In his statement issued earlier, Annan said they have no intention of interfering in talks of Zimbabwe ‘s unity government and the visit is aimed at making a first-hand assessment of the humanitarian situation in the country which has been facing political and economic crisis.

The ruling and opposition parties of Zimbabwe signed a historical power-sharing deal in September but they have not reached consensuses on the allocation of key ministries since then.


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