Mugabe relents, power-sharing deal official on Monday

DESMOND KWANDE/AFP/Getty Images After months of stalemate, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has finally agreed to a power-sharing deal. Unfortunately, South African President Thabo Mbeki (left) didn’t have many details to share in his announcement today. He said that the deal would be signed on Monday and its terms would be made public at that time, ...

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592636_080911_mbeki5.jpg

DESMOND KWANDE/AFP/Getty Images

After months of stalemate, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has finally agreed to a power-sharing deal.

Unfortunately, South African President Thabo Mbeki (left) didn't have many details to share in his announcement today. He said that the deal would be signed on Monday and its terms would be made public at that time, but offered little else. While Mugabe has not yet commented, opposition leader Morgan Tvsangirai confirmed that the parties "have got a deal."

DESMOND KWANDE/AFP/Getty Images

After months of stalemate, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has finally agreed to a power-sharing deal.

Unfortunately, South African President Thabo Mbeki (left) didn’t have many details to share in his announcement today. He said that the deal would be signed on Monday and its terms would be made public at that time, but offered little else. While Mugabe has not yet commented, opposition leader Morgan Tvsangirai confirmed that the parties “have got a deal.”

Until today, Mugabe, whose oppressive rule has grown increasingly destructive, had refused to loosen his grip on power. Tsvangirai won the most votes in March’s presidential election, though not quite the 50 percent necessary for an outright victory (according to Mugabe’s electoral commission, at least). Human rights groups estimate that more than 100 opposition supporters have been killed since March, and the opposition refused to participate in what it said was a sham run-off election in June. As a result, the political situation has been completely deadlocked, and Mbeki’s mediation had failed to yield results for months.

My colleague Josh may not agree, and I’m looking forward to seeing the details on Monday, but I think this new deal is a step forward. It offers hope for restoring peace and stability to Zimbabwe, as well as revitalizing its economy and, crucially, helping to smooth relations with international aid organizations. Here’s hoping it sticks.

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