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Zimbabwe: Army assumes full control, Mugabe still in detention

Following the crisis in Zimbabwe, the head of the African Union on Wednesday said the crisis in Zimbabwe “seems like a coup” and called on the military to halt their actions and submit to constitutional order. Alpha Conde, who is also Guinea’s president, s condemned the actions of the top brass in the southern African nation as “clearly soldiers trying to take power by force”. .

The military action followed the sacking of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a fierce rival of Mrs Mugabe. His whereabouts are also unclear. President Mugabe, 93, has been in control of Zimbabwe since it gained independence from Britain in 1980. But the power struggle over who might succeed him, between Mrs Mugabe and Mr Mnangagwa, has split the ruling Zanu-PF party in recent months. Evidence that Mrs Mugabe’s circle was being pressured by the military came on Wednesday when one of her key allies made a public apology for criticising the head of the army a day earlier.

Maj.-Gen. S.B. Moyo, spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, said early Wednesday the military is targeting “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe, and sought to reassure the country that order will be restored.

However, Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change called for a peaceful return to constitutional democracy, adding it hoped the military intervention would lead to the “establishment of a stable, democratic and progressive nation state”.

Also, The leader of Zimbabwe’s influential liberation war veterans called for South Africa, southern Africa and the West to re-engage Zimbabwe, whose economic decline over the past two decades has been a drag on the southern African region. “This is a correction of a state that was careening off the cliff,” Chris Mutsvangwa told Reuters. “It’s the end of a very painful and sad chapter in the history of a young nation, in which a dictator, as he became old, surrendered his court to a gang of thieves around his wife.”

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