Clinton in South Africa to Press for Action on Zimbabwe

JOHANNESBURG (RPRN) 8/7/2009–U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in South Africa, where she says she will push the country to do more to counter what she called “the negative effects” of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s rule.

Clinton arrived in Johannesburg Thursday. On Friday, she has a full day that includes a meeting with former South African President Nelson Mandela and an address to business leaders.

She has also planned meetings in Pretoria with South Africa’s foreign minister (Maite Nkoana-Mashabane) before holding talks on Saturday with President Jacob Zuma.

Mrs. Clinton arrived in South Africa after visiting Kenya, where she pledged “strong support” for Somalia’s government after meeting with the country’s president, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, in Nairobi, Thursday.

Clinton also warned of possible penalties against Eritrea for allegedly supplying arms to Somalia’s Islamist insurgents.

Clinton says she will encourage South Africa’s leaders to press Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe to fully implement a power-sharing accord with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that took effect in February. Mr. Mugabe had ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist since the country became independent in 1980.

The U.S. and other countries have accused Mr. Mugabe of human rights abuses and destructive economic policies.

Kenya was the first stop in Clinton’s 11-day tour of Africa. Later stops include Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde.