Lift all forms of sanctions, says SADC: the Southern African Development Community (SADC) held an extraordinary summit in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam (28-29 March) to discuss the political, economic and security situation in the region. The final communique, reproduced below, has received little mention in the Western media.

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The extraordinary summit of the heads of state and government of SADC met in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on 28-29 March 2007 to discuss the political, economic and security situation in the region, with special focus on the situations in Lesotho, DRCongo and Zimbabwe.

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The meeting was chaired by President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete [Tanzania], chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

The summit was attended by the following heads of state and government, and government representatives:

President Joseph Kabila (DRCongo), Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili (Lesotho), President Bingu wa Mutharika (Malawi), President Armando Guebuza (Mozambique), President Hifikepunye Pohamba (Namibia), President Thabo Mbeki (South Africa), Prime Minister Themba Dlamini (Swaziland), President Levy Mwanawasa (Zambia), President Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Vice President Lt-Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama (Botswana), Foreign Minister Joao Miranda (Angola), Ambassador Bruno Renarivelo (Madagascar), and Ambassador Mahomed Dossa (Mauritius).

On the political situation in Zimbabwe

The summit noted and appreciated the briefing by President Mugabe on the current political developments in Zimbabwe [and] recalled that free, fair and democratic presidential elections were held in 2002 in Zimbabwe.

The summit reaffirmed its solidarity with the government and people of Zimbabwe and mandated President Thabo Mbeki to continue to facilitate dialogue between the opposition and the government and report back to the SADC troika on peace and security, made up of Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia, on the progress. The summit also encouraged enhanced diplomatic contacts [with the international community] which will assist with the resolution of the situation in Zimbabwe and mandated the SADC executive secretary to undertake a study on the economic situation in Zimbabwe and propose measures on how the SADC can assist Zimbabwe recover economically.

The summit reiterated the appeal to Britain to honour its compensation obligations with regard to land reform made at the Lancaster House independence negotiations in 1979. The summit appealed for the lifting of all forms of...

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