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Kenya rescues Mumbengegwi

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Kenya yesterday came to the rescue of stranded Zimbabwes Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi after it chartered a plane to rescue him alongside its diplomats stuck in crisis-torn Bamako, Mali.

Zimbabwes ambassador to nearby Senegal Trudy Stevenson said Mumbengegwi was flown to Lagos, Nigeria, after Kenya sent in a chartered plane to rescue dozens aof diplomats, with permission from the new military authority.

We expect him here today (yesterday) and he will most likely leave on a Kenyan Airways flight to Harare on Monday.

He called from Lagos and he is fine, said Stevenson.

Violence broke out in Mali after soldiers staged a coup detat and toppled president Amadou Toumani Tour.

After the coup the soldiers as part of security measures, grounded flights, sealed borders and imposed a curfew, leaving the minister and other diplomats in the African Union stranded.

The United Nations sent in a plane to rescue diplomats on Friday night and it quickly filled up, forcing Kenya to charter a plane to rescue its minister and half a dozen aides.

The Kenyans agreed to extract Mumbengegwi and two aides in the airlift.

The fate of Malis Toumani Tour was unclear yesterday.

The new government, led by low-ranking officers, has cancelled next months election.

De facto leader Captain Amadou Sanogo told state television he would allow elections as soon as national unity and the integrity of our territory is re-established.

There was no timetable given.

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