Russian Foreign Ministry issues travel alert for Zimbabwe
MOSCOW. Nov 16 (Interfax) - Moscow has urged that the Zimbabwe situation be settled on a constitutional basis and warned its citizens not to visit Zimbabwe for now, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mariya Zakharova said at a press briefing on Thursday.
"According to the reports of the Russian embassy to Harare, all is generally quiet in Zimbabwe. Nonetheless, we suggest that Russian citizens abstain from tourist trips to Zimbabwe for now," Zakharova said.
Moscow welcomes the statement made by South African President Jacob Zuma on November 15 on behalf of the sub-regional organization, the Southern African Development Community, Zakharova said. "It [the statement] expressed hope that the domestic political differences in Zimbabwe will be settled exclusively within the constitutional field," Zakharova said.
Last week, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe dismissed Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and accused him of plotting a coup. Mnangagwa enjoyed the support of the army and was seen as a possible successor to Mugabe.
Mugabe has been the President of Zimbabwe for the past 30 years, since 1987.
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that residents of the Zimbabwean capital of Harare woke up in the morning to see their streets being patrolled by armed servicemen. Western media reported that armored vehicles were also moving around the city. There were three explosions in Harare.
The Zimbabwean military said on Wednesday that it had taken control of state-run television channels but denied that this is an attempt to topple President Mugabe. They said they are targeting "criminals in Robert Mugabe's entourage whose activity inflicted social and economic damage on the country."