- Title: GERMANY: Germany criticizes Zimbabwe's President Mugabe at Africa Forum
- Date: 28th May 2007
- Summary: AKUFO-ADDO IN FORUM
- Embargoed: 12th June 2007 13:00
- Location: Germany
- Country: Germany
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA17ZNTEESM5PVCZGSZ8TDCYJQG
- Story Text: Ghanian Foreign Minister Akufo-Addo tells the African Partnership Forum in Berlin that Africa needs to complete structural changes to benefit from globalisation while Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel criticizes Zimbabwe's government. The Africa Partnership Forum was opened in Berlin on Tuesday (May 22) by Ghana's Foreign Minister Nana Akufo-Addo and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The forum is hosted by the World Bank and the German Development Office.
Speaking at the forum being held in the German capital, Akufo-Addo said that Africa needed to complete the structural changes needed to help them properly benefit from globalisation.
"The major challenge confronting this generation of Africans was to accomplish the structural transformation of the African economies, so that we can compete successfully in the globalised economy, and be like others, beneficiaries of globalisation, not its victims, he said. "This summit, by the adoption of the joint strategy document will signal Europe's recognition of the exigencies of this new relationship, and her decision to accompany Africa down this new path of equality and mutual benefit."
Addressing delegates at the forum Merkel criticised President Robert Mugabe's government and its political actions.
"The intimidation of political opponents, bullying of the independent press, threats against farmers, destruction of slums. All of this cannot be justified in any way and the policies of Mugabe are unacceptable," said the Chancellor, who's country currently holds the European Union and Group of Eight presidencies.
Merkel called on neighbouring countries to use their influence to bring about positive developments in Zimbabwe.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says more than 600 opposition supporters have been abducted and tortured by government agents since February. It says 150 activists and leaders, including party president Tsvangirai, have sustained serious injuries.
Mugabe's government accuses opposition activists of unleashing violence in the townships and engaging in "terrorist" activities, a charge the opposition denies.
Merkel also called on the Sudanese government to provide assistance to their own people.
At least 200,000 people have been killed and more than 2 million displaced since 2003 in an ethnic and political conflict triggered by a rebellion in the western region of Darfur. Civilians have been killed, raped and driven from their homes as rebels fight government troops and their Janjaweed militia.
"We call insistently on the Sudanese government to do their duty for their people and to provide them with the possibility of a humane existence. The crossover finally has to be achieved from the African Union's mission to a combined mission between the African Union and the United Nations. It is desperately needed, and we shall do everything possible with you to make sure this step is finally taken. "
Sudan cleared the way for the United Nations to bolster an African Union (AU) force struggling to maintain peace in Darfur when it agreed in April to accept United Nations (UN) attack helicopters as part of the plan.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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