Zimababwe land issue continues to deteriorate

The Zimababwean President, Robert Mugabe, is meeting several of his African counterparts at a conference in Victoria Falls today.

The leaders of three other south African states - South Africa, Namimbia and Mozambique - are attending a conference in the north of Zimbabwe to discuss the current land ownership crisis which is threatening to push the country into civil war.

Black squatters have occupied several white-owned farms across Zimababwe and are now rampaging within several regions including Arcturus district, 35 miles north-east of Harare.

Reports indicate that groups of armed 'war veterans' are ransacking farms and destroying the homes of black agricultural workers. At least four people have been murdered and two women raped in the escalating violence.

So far, however, Mr Mugabe has refused to condemn the violence and peace talks have failed to reconcile white land-owners and the suatters occupying their properties. Britain is urging Mr Mugabe to seek a peaceful resolution to the worsening situation.

The conference is also expected to discuss the destructive civil war taking place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.