Accessibility links

Bush Vows New Action against Zimbabwe Government

U.S. President George Bush is vowing to take new action against Zimbabwe's government for what he called a "sham election" Friday that ignored the will of the people.

In a statement Saturday, Mr. Bush ordered the secretaries of State and Treasury to develop sanctions against what he called Zimbabwe's illegitimate government and the people who support it.

Critics have accused the government of President Robert Mugabe of seeking to win Friday's presidential runoff through violence and intimidation.

Mr. Bush said the United States will press for strong action by the United Nations, including an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and a travel ban on government officials.

The United States, Britain and European Union already have a variety of travel bans and financial sanctions in place against Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and more than 100 of his associates.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown denounced Friday's runoff as a new low for Zimbabwe.

African leaders have been more restrained in their criticism but have expressed concern about the election and the violence leading up to it. On Friday, the five-nation East African Community said the election "cannot be a solution" for Zimbabwe's situation and called for dialogue between the Mugabe government and the opposition.

African Union foreign ministers meeting in Egypt also called for dialogue, and said they oppose sanctions. The ministers were meeting ahead of an African Union summit on Monday that Mr. Mugabe is expected to attend.