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Africa press split on ousting Mugabe

Robert Mugabe at the National Heroes Acre in Harare (11 December 2008)
Robert Mugabe has said the West is plotting to use cholera to invade

The African press are divided in response to increasing international pressure to oust Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe following an outbreak of cholera in his country that has left nearly 800 people dead.

Some papers expressed scepticism over the European Union's motives in offering humanitarian assistance to cholera victims whilst extending a travel ban on Zimbabwean leaders.

While several commentators gave their backing to Mr Mugabe, others called for him to step down or for regional leaders to ensure his powers were curtailed. Some said they feared military intervention.

ZIMBABWE CHRONICLE

It is apparent that you cannot fight cholera with guns and therefore, if members of the EU are interested in helping the masses, as they always claim, they must give us humanitarian assistance to better the lives of the majority and stop scheming war against us.

MADAGASCAR TRIBUNE

France and the others, including Great Britain... are preparing and encouraging the whole international community to invade... to dislodge Robert Mugabe... Although there is a crisis in Zimbabwe, won't that worsen the country's economic and social situation?

RWANDA'S NEW TIMES

I urge all African leaders to call for nothing less than his stepping down or else... Zimbabweans gave him a chance through the power-sharing deal but he has self-importantly thrown it back into our faces.

BURKINA FASO'S LE PAYS

The severe cholera epidemic is seriously weakening the regime. But is the regime really about to give up? This is what the European capitals seem to secretly think. They want to give Mugabe the coup de grace by trying to set the world against him. We shall see if the forceful method - which has never worked for the West - will, this time, be the best solution.

DR CONGO'S LE POTENTIEL

Let's form a chain of solidarity around this regime by giving it our clear support materially and morally, by rejecting the plan for destabilisation and the contempt orchestrated by the Anglo-Saxon neo-conservatives. The image of Africa and its people is at stake.

COTE D'IVOIRE'S NOTRE VOIE

Why do [French President] Nicolas Sarkozy, [US Secretary of State] Condoleezza Rice, [UK Prime Minister] Gordon Brown and their friends want give the impression that Mugabe's departure is the precondition for sending aid to Zimbabweans who are threatened by the cholera epidemic? If the Westerners really claim that they love Zimbabweans more than Mugabe, they should renounce their fatal project of ousting Mugabe by force.

SOUTH AFRICA'S BUSINESS DAY

[Southern African Development Community] leaders need to move beyond the mindset of a quick backroom political fix that leaves Mugabe running critical institutions that have caused the very policies which have led to Zimbabwe's food and health crisis.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

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