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Britain Seeks Support for UN Sanctions Against Zimbabwe

Britain is seeking support for a United Nations Security Council resolution that would impose tough new sanctions on Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his allies.

British Foreign Secretary David Milband spoke in South Africa Sunday while visiting a church in Johannesburg that houses about 2,000 refugees from Zimbabwe.

Miliband says the Zimbabwe crisis is affecting the whole of southern Africa. He urges formation of a government in Harare that reflects the results of Zimbabwe's March 29 elections.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai defeated President Mugabe in that vote, but not by enough to avoid a second round. Tsvangirai pulled out of the run-off last month, citing state-sponsored violence against his supporters.

Britain supports a U.S.-drafted resolution that would require nations to freeze the assets of President Mugabe and 11 of his officials and restrict their travel outside Zimbabwe.

Miliband is in South Africa for talks with government officials. South African President Thabo Mbeki is official mediator to Zimbabwe for the Southern African Development Community.

On Saturday, Mr. Mbeki met with President Robert Mugabe as part of his efforts to end Zimbabwe's political crisis.

Mr. Mbeki also met Saturday with leaders of a breakaway faction of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. However, Tsvangirai declined to participate in the meeting. The MDC has criticized Mr. Mbeki's mediation bid as being biased in favor of President Mugabe.

An estimated three million Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa in recent years to escape their country's economic collapse.

Zimbabwe suffers from 80 percent unemployment and an inflation rate officially measured at 160,000 percent, but believed to be much higher.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.