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Can a regional summit break Zimbabwe's crisis deadlock?

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"That is the last hope, for SADC to insist on a proper sharing of power. If Mugabe gets the military, then Tsvangirai should get the police," says Raymond Louw, editor of the Southern Africa Report in Johannesburg. "What alternative is there for Tsvangirai? The only other thing is to give up, and then Mugabe takes all the power."

Zimbabwe's seven-month-long political crisis has been a test of patience for ordinary Zimbabweans, who voted nearly 2 to 1 in favor of Mr. Tsvangirai against Mugabe in the first round of elections held on March 29, but who now struggle to feed their families. Few regional leaders seem to know how to break the impasse – the neighboring country of Botswana urges deep sanctions against Mugabe, while regional mediator Mr. Mbeki calls for patient negotiation. But a continuation of the crisis puts an unbearable economic burden on the entire region. More than 4 million Zimbabwean refugees have fled to other countries, 3 million of them to South Africa alone.

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