Australia's Aborigines Appeal to Mugabe for Land Support

Harare- Zimbabwe (PANA) -- Australia's Aborigines Monday appealed to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe for support at the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in their bid to wrestle land from whites in that country.
In a letter published in state media, Aborigine leaders asked Mugabe to table at the CHOGM summit, to be held in Australia in October, their demands for the return of the land they were dispossessed of by British colonial settlers more than 200 years ago.
"When you stand up to speak at the conference in Brisbane, (we) urge you to voice your support for the right of the Aborigines to inherit their native land," they wrote.
Mugabe has sparked off a land crisis in his southern African country by compulsorily acquiring idle white-owned farms, since last year, to resettle hundreds of thousands of landless peasants.
He says the programme, sharply criticized by Zimbabwe's former colonial power, Britain, is necessary to economically empower indigenous inhabitants and ensure the country's future political and social stability.
Most of the land in Zimbabwe is owned by some 3,500 white farmers, the majority of whom are direct descendants of British colonial settlers who dispossessed natives of their land in the 1890s.
The Aborigines also implored Mugabe to address them on land reform during the Commonwealth summit.

06 august 2001 15:48:00

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