Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is in talks with military officials, South African government ministers, and a Catholic priest to determine his future and that of the country he has ruled since 1980.
Mr. Mugabe was placed under house arrest following the military’s seizure of power on Tuesday night.
Reuters reports that sources close to the talks said the 93-year-old president is resisting pressure from the military and the mediating priest, Father Fidelis Mukonori, to voluntarily resign ahead of the elections slated for next year.
The South African government sent envoys to mediate the talks on Thursday, while the regional Southern African Development Community are holding an emergency meeting in Botswana.
Sources have indicated that Mr. Mugabe is insisting that he remains the legitimate head of state. His stance has been supported by the head of the African Union, Guinean President Alpha Conde.
Mr. Conde said the AU would not accept a military seizure of power and urged the military to “return to its barracks and return to constitutional order.”
On Monday, November 13, military tanks were seen moving into Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, sparking rumors of a military coup.
The military took control of the state television station on Tuesday and announced that the situation had “moved to another level.”
It was revealed on Wednesday morning that Mr. Mugabe was safe and placed under house arrest.
The military’s seizure of power was prompted by Mr. Mugabe’s sacking of his vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, a veteran of Zimbabwe’s war of liberation, last week. Military officials speculated that the move was intended to clear a path of succession for te president’s wife, Grace Mugabe.