UN sanctions considered against Zimbabwe's Mugabe
The United States and Britain proposed Wednesday that the UN Security Council impose a freeze of assets and travel ban against Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and those in his government who were responsible for the violence and presidential elections' crisis. ( dpa )
British Ambassador John Sawers said he had called on the new UN Security Council president for July, Vietnam's Ambassador Le Minh Luong, to include in the monthly programme of work the issues in Zimbabwe and Myanmar. Both are noted in the programme made public by Le, but Zimbabwe falls under the issue of peace and security in Africa.
"He (Mugabe) is the person who is primarily responsible for mocking the will of the Zimbabwe people to be fairly expressed," Sawers told reporters.
"Among those responsible (for the crisis), he's pretty much on top of the list," he said.
When Le made public the programme of work, no date was chosen to discuss specifically Zimbabwe. Council members like South Africa, China and Russia opposed discussion of national elections on the ground that the council has no mandate to certify election results. China considers such a move an interference into a country's internal affairs.
Mugabe was the sole candidate in the runoff last Friday after his chief political opponent Morgan Tsvangarai, fearing for his life, withdrew from the race and took refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harare.
The council and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week said the runoff failed the test of an election freely and fairly carried out. They regretted that Mugabe did not postpone the vote as demanded by the African Union and the UN. Ban said the runoff was not legitimate.
The council has not imposed any kind of sanctions against Zimbabwe. But the European Union already has substantial measures against that country.
Over last weekend, US President George W Bush called for UN sanctions and a weapons embargo against Mugabe's government, and said Washington would consider additional bilateral sanctions.