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AFRICAN Union (AU) leaders are concerned that they have been unable to contact Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Tuesday.

He said he had spoken on Monday with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, the AU's president and that his “big concern” is that the African leaders “have not been able to be in contact with President Mugabe.”

“All the efforts that have been made, have been a failure,” Solana told the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee in Brussels.

“So it is a concern of the leaders of the region.”

Solano’s revelations came as Zimbabwe's opposition slammed the "deafening silence" of Africa in the aftermath of the country's elections, warning of blood on the streets unless pressure is brought to bear on Robert Mugabe.

As party lawyers argued at the high court for an immediate announcement of the result of the March 29 presidential poll, the Movement for Democratic Change said its supporters were being provoked into violence as part of a strategy to impose a state of emergency.

Exasperated by the lack of a diplomatic breakthrough, MDC secretary general Tendai Biti said "the deafening silence by our brothers and sisters" in Africa was symptomatic of the continent's failure to react to crises.

Drawing a parallel to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, in which some 800,000 people lost their lives, Biti urged institutions such as the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to take a clear stand.

"We (Africa) responded poorly in Rwanda and a million people were killed," Biti told a press conference.

"I say don't wait for dead bodies on the streets of Harare. Intervene now. There's a constitutional and legal crisis in Zimbabwe."

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has already declared himself the outright winner over his old rival Mugabe, met with senior members of South Africa's ruling ANC party on Monday, including its president Jacob Zuma.

However South African President Thabo Mbeki, who mediated between the MDC and Mugabe's Zanu PF party in the build-up the election, has so far only called for all sides to await the election results and called the situation "manageable".

Observer missions from the African Union and SADC both gave the elections a largely clean bill of health, even though the outcome is still unknown.

Solana said the High Court petition by the opposition demanding the electoral commission immediately declare the outcome of the March 29 polls had become very significant to solving the stand-off.

“We have to keep our eyes very open to see how the situation evolves and in particular in the coming hours,” Solana said.

In Harare, the court said it would treat the petition as an 'urgent' matter.

A European diplomat said fears were spreading in Brussels and beyond that Zimbabwe could descend into the kind of post-election violence seen in Kenya if the electoral impasse persists.

Last Friday, the EU's Slovenian presidency called on Zimbabwe to issue the results of its presidential election “without further delay”. - Staff Reporter/Reuters/AFP
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