The U.N. Security Council is considering a U.S.-written draft
resolution on Zimbabwe that would tighten sanctions against the
government of President Robert Mugabe and a dozen individuals. From United
Nation's headquarters in New York, VOA's Margaret Besheer has more.
United States is moving ahead with a draft resolution that seeks to
freeze the assets and restrict the travel of President Mugabe and 11
individuals in or close to his government who have been linked to
recent political violence and the undermining of the election process.
The proposed resolution also seeks to expand an arms embargo against
In a copy of the draft resolution obtained by
VOA, President Mugabe is first on the list, and is followed by five
senior members of his security forces, five members of his government
and the head of the Reserve Bank.
Britain has strongly supported the U.S. push for tougher sanctions. Britain's U.N. Ambassador John Sawers:
certainly think the council should press ahead with the resolution on
sanctions," said Ambassador Sawers. "Yes, I think the situation is very
dire there. I think we need to make clear that the views of the
Zimbabwean people as expressed in the last election that was reasonably
free and fair - that one on 29 March - needs to be respected. And the
new government needs to be formed on the basis of the views of the
Zimbabwean people as expressed then."
The draft being circulated
also demands that Mr. Mugabe's government immediately begin talks with the
opposition, and asks the U.N. secretary-general to appoint "an
individual of international standing and expertise in human rights" to
serve as his special representative and investigate reports of human
Western diplomats say candidates on the
short-list for that appointment include former U.N. chief Kofi Annan,
Ghana's President John Kufuor, former Nigerian President Olusegun
Obasanjo and former Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano.
resolution also expresses support for the on-going efforts by the
African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to
solve the post-election crisis.
The U.N. Security Council will
be briefed on the situation in Zimbabwe on Tuesday. U.S. Ambassador
Zalmay Khalilzad said U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro,
who is attending the African Union summit in Egypt, and U.N. Envoy
Haile Menkerios, who was just in Zimbabwe, would address the council.