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Annan Unsure of UN Punishment of Zimbabwe - 2002-03-13

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for calm in Zimbabwe in the wake of its much-disputed presidential election.

Mr. Annan says some observers of the Zimbabwean presidential election reported that it was "free and fair," and some did not. Therefore, he says, he is unsure if the Security Council will take any punitive action against the government of President Robert Mugabe. But he did express anxiety about the situation in Zimbabwe.

"There is clearly great controversy, both within the country and abroad, about the way the election was organized and conducted," he said. "Let me appeal once again to all Zimbabweans to remain calm, to show respect for each other's rights and the democratic process, and to disavow all acts of violence and retribution."

U.N. Security Council members, the United States and Britain, have both rejected the election results, as unfair. Mr. Annan said he is awaiting more information and it is up to U.N. members to decide what to do next.