Mugabe tells riot-hit Britain to leave Zimbabwe alone

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President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday urged Britain to pay attention to the wave of riots raging in its cities and leave Zimbabwe alone.

"Britain I understand is on fire, London especially and we hope they can extinguish their fire, pay attention to their internal problems and to that fire which is now blazing all over, and leave us alone," Mugabe said, referring to Zimbabwe's former colonial master.

"We do not have any fire here and we do not want them to continue to create unnecessary problems in our country. We want peace, and the people of Zimbabwe want peace."

In an address marking the country's defence forces day, Mugabe once again urged Western countries to remove sanctions imposed on himself and his close associates as they were affecting Zimbabwe's economic recovery.

"Once again we appeal to those who have imposed sanctions to head our appeal that the sanctions to go," he said.

"Let them those in Europe attend to their problems, those in America attend to their internal problems."

Britain in the past three days has seen the country's worst riots in decades with more than 450 people arrested.

Western countries have imposed sanctions since 2000 on Mugabe and his close associates who are accused of human rights abuses and undermining democracy and the rule of law.

© 2011 AFP

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