SADC foreign ministers to meet on Zimbabwe’s situation

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An urgent foreign ministers meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was called on Wednesday to be held soon to discuss the unfolding political and security situation in Zimbabwe.

South African President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as the SADC chair, called for the meeting to be held on Thursday at the SADC secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana.

Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe is reportedly put under house arrest since early Wednesday by the military.

Zimbabwe’s military announced on state TV that they were not taking over the government, but “targeting criminals around” Mugabe, and that Mugabe and his family were safe and their security was guaranteed.

The SADC secretariat said the urgent SADC meeting will be attended by foreign ministers from the current member states of the rotating SADC leadership, including the SADC Organ Troika — Angola, Tanzania and Zambia,and the SADC Council presidency South Africa.

Earlier on Wednesday, Zuma said he was sending special envoys to Zimbabwe. South Africa’s defense and security ministers will go to Zimbabwe to meet with Mugabe and leaders of the Zimbabwean defense force.

The special envoys will also travel to Angola to meet with President Joao Lourenco, chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security, and brief him on Zimbabwe’s situation.

On Zimbabwe’s situation, Zuma has repeated the call for calm and restraint, and urged the Zimbabwean military to ensure that peace and stability are not undermined.

The SADC will continue to monitor the situation in Zimbabwe closely, Zuma said.

Zuma spoke to Mugabe earlier in the day who indicated that he was confined to his home by the army but said he was fine.

South Africa is in contact with the Zimbabwean defense force, according to the South African presidency.

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