Italy calls back its ambassador from Zimbabwe to protest vote
The Italian government has called home its
ambassador to Zimbabwe in protest against the disputed re-election of President
Robert Mugabe, officials said late Monday in Rome.
Italy appears to be the first country to take such consequential steps against Mugabe.
Italy's Foreign Minsiter Franco Frattini has called for the European Union to push for the 26 other member countries to follow suit, to send a "political signal" to Mugabe.
After nearly three months of violent attacks on the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, withdrew from the race just days before the vote, to protect his supporters from further deaths and violent attacks.
The United States over the weekend called for a weapons embargo against Zimbabwe, while the United Nations in New York could also adopt sanctions later this week, dpa reported.