In an address to 'The Elders', an independent group of statesmen seeking to end the crisis in Zimbabwe, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said President Robert Mugabe "must go," becoming the latest world leader to call for Mugabe's ouster.
AFP - French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Monday on Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe to step down, saying his people deserved better and the time for negotiations was over.
"President Mugabe must go," Sarkozy said in an address to The Elders, an independent group of statesmen seeking to end the crisis in the southern African country.
"There comes a time when a dictator does not want to hear, does not want to understand, and so my understanding is that heads of states and governments must end discussions."
"It is time to say to Mr Mugabe 'you have taken your people hostage. The people of Zimbabwe have the right to freedom, to security and to respect'."
"He must go," said Sarkozy, whose country holds the presidency of the European Union.
The statement came a day after former US president Jimmy Carter, ex-UN chief Kofi Annan and other members of The Elders group rendered a damning verdict on Mugabe's regime, saying it cannot lead the nation out of crisis.
Reeling from economic collapse, Zimbabwe has recently been hit by a cholera outbreak that has killed nearly 600 people.
In Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana called for maximum pressure to be exerted to persuade Mugabe, 84, to step down after nearly three decades in power.
EU foreign ministers were set to tighten sanctions against the Zimbabwe regime, amid worries over the deteriorating humanitarian situation and political stalemate in the country.
Date created : 2008-12-08