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Opposition March Peacefully in Zanzibar

TOMRIC News Agency (Dar es Salaam), 23 July 2001

Dar Es Salaam - THOUSANDS of Civic United Front (CUF) members and supporters yesterday demanded a deadline to the ongoing peace talks between the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and CUF.

The call was manifested in placards they carried during a demonstration in support of the CUF-CCM talks which was sparked by the January 27 killing of more than 20 CUF demonstrators in a rally which was banned by than government, the Guardian reports here today.

Led by their national party chairman, Prof. Ibrahim Lipumba, the CUF supporters marched from Macho Manne to Tibilinzi ground in Chake Chake District, in Pemba the northern Island of Zanzibar where a rally took place. Prof. Lipumba told demonstrators thereafter that the CUF-CCM dialogue was the only means of bringing about democracy in the country, reports the paper.

He reiterated the party's position to be told of the outcome of the talks by July 31 this year, CUF would withdraw from the talks and let its members decide the way forward. He accused CCM of causing the postponement of various sessions of the talks. He underlined that CUF demanded fresh elections in Zanzibar, saying the October elections were married by electoral irregularities.

Some demonstrators called for the formation of a committee to probe the January killings. The paper says that tight security was seen in Pemba Island for the past two days. The number of policemen was increased in government building ahead of the demonstration. Most of the January 27 killings of demonstrators occurred in Pemba Island. In yesterday many demonstrators were weeping as Professor Lipumba, the former economic adviser to the Union President, was speaking.