10 Jul 2002

European Union travel ban prevents Zimbabwe leader attending Nadi ACP meeting

10:41 am on 10 July 2002

A travel ban imposed by the European Union has prevented Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, from attending a summit of leaders from the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries in Fiji next week.

Mr Mugabe had earlier confirmed he would be leading the Zimbabwe delegation at the Nadi summit.

The Fiji Sun says a government official has confirmed that Mr Mugabe will not be coming because of the EU travel ban.

The official says he cannot even step out of Africa.

The ban has been imposed because of Mr Mugabe's racist policies against white farmers and his alleged rigging of elections this year which allowed him to remain in power.

The Citizen's Constitutional Forum had planned to demonstrate against Mr Mugabe's presence because of human rights violations by his regime had he come, but the Fiji government has banned all protests at the ACP summit.