Zimbabwe crisis talks resume in South Africa


Talks between Zimbabwe's ruling party and opposition on ending the political crisis resumed today after adjourning early last week.

Police have confirmed that a bomb exploded yesterday at the central police station in Harare. There were no casualties and no claim of responsibility.

President Robert Mugabe's party began power-sharing talks with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in South Africa two weeks ago to try to resolve the crisis after Mugabe's unopposed re-election in a poll boycotted by the opposition.

Talks adjourned last week so both teams of negotiators could consult their leaders.

“The talks have begun," said Mukoni Ratshitanga, spokesman for South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is mediating.

Although an initial deadline for the talks ends on Monday, Ratshitanga said that should not be taken literally because of the adjournment. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said the deadline is flexible.

Ratshitanga said the talks restarted at an undisclosed venue in South Africa. Previous meetings were held in Pretoria.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai are under pressure from within Africa and the rest of the world to negotiate a national unity government to end a crisis that has ruined Zimbabwe's economy and flooded neighbouring states with millions of refugees.