A leading Scottish university says it will withdraw an honorary degree awarded to Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

The University of Edinburgh says it will write to President Mugabe and give him the opportunity to respond before formally revoking his degree.

The university described the move as unprecedented.

It did not give specific reasons for the move, but said it is "acutely aware of the ongoing developments in Zimbabwe." The university also noted that students had been petitioning for President Mugabe's degree to be withdrawn.

Mr. Mugabe was awarded the degree in 1984 after leading his country to independence from Britain. In recent years, he has been accused of human rights abuses and plunging Zimbabwe into an economic crisis.

The United States and European Union have imposed sanctions on Mr. Mugabe's government.

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