Thu | Dec 14, 2017

UN chief calls for calm and restraint

Published:Thursday | November 16, 2017 | 12:00 AM
A military tank is seen with armed soldiers outside President Robert Mugabe's office in Harare yesterday.

HARARE (AP):

The United Nations says Secretary General Antonio Guterres is appealing for "calm, non-violence and restraint" in Zimbabwe.

UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that Guterres stressed "the importance of resolving political differences through peaceful means and dialogue, and in line with the country's constitution".

Haq wouldn't speculate on what's going to happen in Zimbabwe, saying "at this stage there's a bit of confusion on the ground".

Haq added that "we are aware that our colleagues in Harare have been able to go about their work."

The chairman of the African Union Commission has told reporters in Washington that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his wife are "safe in the country".

The comments by Moussa Faki Mahamat at the National Press Club were shared on Twitter by a spokeswoman for the continental body. There had been questions over whether first lady Grace Mugabe had left Zimbabwe.

The AU leader also says a delegation from the 15-nation Southern African Development Community is already in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, as authorities seek to meet with Mugabe and the army.

The AU chair also says the continental body is against "any unlawful takeover of power anywhere on the continent".

The chairman says the crisis in Zimbabwe must be resolved "in a manner that promotes democracy and human rights".

Moussa Faki Mahamat in a statement yesterday says the continental body aligns itself with the statement made by South African President Jacob Zuma on behalf of the 15-country southern African regional bloc.

Zuma's statement for the Southern African Development Community called for restraint and expressed hope that developments in Zimbabwe "would not lead to unconstitutional changes of government".