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Thursday, July 10, 2008

G8 SUMMIT 2008

U.S., Britain to seek U.N. action targeting Mugabe, Brown says


Staff writer

TOYAKO, Hokkaido — Britain and the United States are pushing for further sanctions against the regime of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday.

"We are announcing new sanctions at the United Nations Security Council against an illegitimate regime that has blood on its hands. That resolution says the only legitimate election that took place in Zimbabwe was on March 29, and that we do not consider the recent election as either free or fair," Brown told a news conference following the conclusion of the Group of Eight summit in Toyako, Hokkaido.

Under the joint U.K.-U.S. draft resolution, a U.N. envoy would be appointed immediately to deal with Mugabe, and 14 high-ranking officials of his regime would be barred from traveling to other countries and would have their overseas assets frozen.

The resolution also contains a proposal for a U.N. arms embargo against the country.

"With the proposed new sanctions and with the arms embargo, we are also proposing that there should be no safe haven, and no hiding place, for the criminal cabal that now make up the Mugabe regime," Brown said.

Last month, Mugabe ordered a runoff election after he lost the first round in March to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who refused to participate in the second election.

Government troops loyal to Mugabe have killed opposition supporters and wounded thousands of others since the March election, drawing the condemnation of the international community and of neighboring African leaders, including former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Brown's announcement of new sanctions proposals against Zimbabwe came a day after G8 leaders released a statement rejecting the legitimacy of the Mugabe government.

The G8 statement expressed "grave concern" about Zimbabwe and called for officials in the country to work for a prompt and peaceful solution to the political crisis.

Brown expressed confidence that China, as the only permanent member of the U.N. Security Council that is not a G8 member, would not block the proposed resolution.



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