Zimbabwe Church leaders urge coup leaders to stop violence

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Church leaders in Zimbabwe are calling for an end to escalating political violence and “hate language” fueling it as elections approach.\r\n

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches on Monday urged political leaders to “reflect deeply” on the timing of elections as the nation slides deeper into a political crisis.

President Robert Mugabe has called for elections this year to end a troubled two-year coalition with the former opposition that was formed after violence-plagued elections in 2008.

Clergy across the country reported a lack of impartiality by police and security forces, a surge in threats and intimidation and a revival of the deployment of militias and other groups that perpetrated the 2008 violence.