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The BBC's Noel Mwakugu
"Most of them have come with nothing"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 6 February, 2001, 14:45 GMT
Zanzibar MPs flee to Kenya
Poster of CCM candidate Amani Karume
Zanzibar's elections were described as a "shambles"
At least 14 Zanzibar opposition MPs have arrived in Kenya to escape violence on the islands.

The recent trouble began 10 days ago when the opposition Civic United Front held a rally to call for the rerun of last October's elections.

More than 30 people were killed in the violence that followed.

Last year's presidential and parliamentary elections in Zanzibar were described as a "shambles" by election observers following a chaotic day of voting.

Fleeing harassment

The politicians arrived in the southern Kenyan port of Shimoni with over 400 other Zanzibaris who say that they are seeking political asylum if persecution of opposition supporters continues.

President Mkapa votes
President Mkapa wants talks but not new elections
Speaking to reporters, they said that CUF members on the northern island of Pemba had been subject to police harassment.

Meanwhile the CUF leadership has said that it is ready to hold talks with the Tanzanian government over the violence.

The Tanzanian President, Benjamin Mkapa, last Saturday offered to have discussions with the CUF, but said that there would be no rerun of the elections.

In addition he said he wanted to be recognised as Tanzania's legitimate president, and the ruling party's Amani Karume as Zanzibar's president, before talks could take place.

The CUF chairman Ibrahim Lipumba said the conditions were unacceptable, but added that "by [the president] saying he is ready to talk, he has opened up and there is a way we can talk."
Map of Zanzibar
Zanzibar has semi-autonomous status

The ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) is holding a meeting in the capital Dodoma on Tuesday to discuss, among other issues, the situation on Zanzibar.

The islands of Zanzibar united with mainland Tangyanika in 1964 to form Tanzania. Zanzibar has semi-autonomous status within Tanzania.

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See also:

27 Jan 01 | Africa
Bloodshed on Tanzanian islands
02 Feb 01 | Africa
Zanzibar's shattered peace
30 Oct 00 | Africa
Violence after Zanzibar vote row
31 Oct 00 | Africa
Zanzibar: Braced for trouble
27 Oct 00 | Africa
Tanzania: Political who's who
10 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Tanzania
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