"Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- European Union foreign-policy chief Javier Solana called for increased international pressure to be placed on Robert Mugabe to stand down as president of Zimbabwe, adding to calls for change amid a growing humanitarian crisis.
“The moment has arrived to put all the pressure for Mugabe to step down and give the opportunity once again to the people of Zimbabwe to get their lives together,” Solana said today as he arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. “The important thing is the political pressure now.”
"Solana adds his voice to mounting international condemnation of the Mugabe regime that has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980. Zimbabwe is suffering a cholera outbreak that has killed almost 500 people after the collapse of the health and sanitation systems following a decade of recession and political upheaval. The Health Ministry reported 484 deaths and 11,735 cholera cases since August, according the Web site of the World Health Organization.
"The southern African nation meanwhile faces political stalemate following the failure to agree a power-sharing government in talks brokered by former South African President Thabo Mbeki.
"Kofi Annan, the former secretary general of the United Nations, said yesterday that African leaders must raise pressure on Mugabe to speed up the power-sharing deal . . . The Elders, created in 2007 by former South African President Nelson Mandelato promote humanitarian causes, met Zimbabwean political leaders, donors and SADC leaders last month to discuss the worsening humanitarian crisis.
"Solana said it is possible the EU will put more Mugabe associates on a list of those subject to a freeze on assets and travel ban."
Today, Javier Solana appears to have his diplomatic hands full with the Israeli / Hammas / Palestinian Gaza crisis. Will there be recommendations for freeze on assets and travel bans there? It appears Solana's power and influence over that region are clearly growing, particularly in view of his new anti-piracy operations.