20 April 2000
No early end to squatting — Mugabe

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has said there will be no early end to the illegal occupation of white-owned farms by government supporters.

He was speaking after a meeting with white farmers and the leader of the occupying groups, reports the Radio 4 Today programme.

Squatters leader Chenjerai Hunzvi said all sides agreed that hostilities should cease

But Mr Mugabe said there would be no withdrawal until farmers made clear which land they were prepared to hand over for resettlement.

Meanwhile, The Times reports that hundreds of women and children are fleeing farms from much of Zimbabwe after two women were raped on a farm.

The Commercial Farmers Union is said to have issued the order for families in many outlying farms to flee as fast as they can.