Tsvangirai calls on Robert Mugabe to resign

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HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on Thursday President Robert Mugabe should resign in the interest of the country after the military seized power.

Mugabe is insisting he remains Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler and has balked at mediation by a Catholic priest to allow the 93-year-old former guerrilla a graceful exit after a military coup, sources said on Thursday.

“In the interest of the people, Mr. Robert Mugabe must resign and step down immediately,” Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, told a news conference, reading from a statement.

Mugabe and envoys from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have held talks in Harare Thursday after the military took control of Zimbabwe, a South African official said.

“They are meeting with President Robert Mugabe at State House now,” South African foreign affairs spokesman Clayson Monyela told AFP, declining to give further details.

Meanwhile, the head of the African Union said Thursday that the body “will never accept the military coup d’état” in Zimbabwe.

“We demand respect for the Constitution, a return to the constitutional order and we will never accept the military coup d’état,” President Alpha Conde said in an interview with French journalists in Paris.

“We know there are internal problems. They need to be resolved politically by the Zanu-PF party and not with an intervention by the army,” added Conde, who is also Guinea’s president.