After six months of political and economic turmoil, and mass violence, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai agreed Thursday to share power.
Twenty-eight years under Mugabe's rule have left Zimbabwe, once known as the "bread basket" of Africa, devastated by food shortages, poverty and astronomical inflation.
When, after the March presidential elections, results suggested that Tsvangirai's MDC party won more votes than 84-year-old Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party, the government went on the offensive. The resulting campaign of intimidation and power politics only ended Thursday night, when South African President Thabo Mbeki announced that the pair had agreed to sign a power-sharing deal.
Details have not been announced, but it is thought that Mugabe will remain president while Tsvangirai will become prime minister and that their two parties will be allocated an equal number of seats in Parliament. The deal is to be signed Monday. Here are our Zimbabwean Observers' reactions to the news.
Reyhana Masters-Smith is a journalist and human rights campaigner from Harare.
Personally I think that although it's been signed, there's been so much intimidation that no-one dares to be associated with the MDC. Nobody's talked about the fact that while the TV crews pulled out of Zimbabwe months ago, the violence continued. It was very intense; really brutal. And we're not even fully aware of everything that's happened, it's been difficult to access rural areas. How do we heal from all that? How can we move forward? What kind of justice will be given?
So although the deal's been signed, the MDC's lost a lot of ground support, and that will impact the power shift. I hear that Zanu-PF plans to restructure at every level, which could lead to them getting a stronger grip at foundation level. Of course everyone will be scrutinising the relationship between Mugabe and Tsvangirai and their two parties. I understand there was a great deal of reluctance on Mugabe's part in signing the deal. But there was also a great deal of pressure on him - and at some stage he had to give in.
Everyone is happy, but so subdued after such a hard period; I haven't even seen anyone celebrating in the streets."
Daniel Molokele is a human rights lawyer from Zimbabwe who now lives in Switzerland. He works for the Global Zimbabwe Forum, an international pressure group made up those who have fled or been exiled from the country.
We are together in all this..."