Zimbabwe’s main opposition party announced Friday that it would enter a unity government with autocratic President Robert Mugabe, bending to pressure to end a nearly five-month impasse that had paralyzed the government as a humanitarian and economic crisis grew more dire by the day.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said his party determined that working within the government offered the best route to democracy and to ending Zimbabweans’ suffering. But he expressed skepticism about sharing power with Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s iron-fisted ruler for nearly 29 years.
“We are not saying that this is a solution to the Zimbabwe crisis. Instead, our participation signifies that we have chosen to continue the struggle for a democratic Zimbabwe in a new arena,” Tsvangirai told reporters in Harare, the capital.
Tsvangirai is to be sworn in as prime minister on Feb. 11 as part of a power-sharing pact, reached in September.
Strikers protest foreign workers
Hundreds of British energy workers walked off the job Friday to protest the use of foreign labor on British job sites, the latest sign of an increasing backlash against foreign workers amid the global recession.
Workers carrying placards that said “British jobs for British workers” staged demonstrations at more than a dozen refineries and power stations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The workers are protesting a decision by Total, the French oil company, to award a $280 million contract to an Italian firm, IREM, for work at a plant in Lincolnshire, England. The project will involve about 400 foreign workers.