‘Tsvangirai statement on Wednesday’

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will make a statement about his future intentions on Wednesday, Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen said on Tuesday.

Tsvangirai took refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harare on Sunday after pulling out of the presidential race because of increasing violence against his supporters.
Verhagen said one of the options under consideration was a period of transition under a neutral government while free and fair elections are being organised.
The MDC leader said earlier on Tuesday he planned to leave the embassy in the next couple of days. ‘I have been assured no harm will come to me. When I know that for sure, I will leave the embassy,’ Tsvangirai told NOS news.
Verhagen is not accompanying queen Beatrix on her three-day visit to Lithuania because of the Zimbabwe crisis.
On Monday, the UN Security Council unanimously condemned the violence and intimidation against Zimbabwe’s opposition party, saying a free and fair presidential run-off vote on Friday would be ‘impossible’. This was an extremely important move, Tsvangirai told NOS news.
Aid minister Bert Koenders told the Volkskrant he had spoken to the opposition leader by telephone and that he made a ‘calm, organised impression’.
The paper says that the Netherlands has given considerable support to human rights issues in Zimbabwe, for example, by giving financial backing to the network of independent observers.

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