Carter, Annan, others refused entry to Zimbabwe

Former US President Jimmy Carter said Saturday that he and others planning a humanitarian mission in Zimbabwe had been refused entry to the impoverished African country. Carter and two other members of The Elders group - former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and rights advocate Graca Machel, who is married to Nelson Mandela - had planned to assess the country's humanitarian needs as Zimbabweans are stalked by disease and hunger while political crisis occupies its politicians. But they were told Friday night by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is mediating the political crisis, that efforts to secure travel visas for the group had failed, Carter told reporters at a news conference in Johannesburg. "We are very disappointed that the government of Zimbabwe would not permit us to come in, would not cooperate," Carter said.