US to Raise Zimbabwe Crisis With Security Council MondayBy VOA News
23 June 2008

The United States says it will raise the matter of Zimbabwe's political crisis with the United Nations Security Council Monday.

Dana Perino White House spokeswoman Dana Perino would not say what the U.S. may propose to the 15-nation Council. But she says the U.S. wants to make sure the international community speaks with "one voice" to bring more pressure on the government of President Robert Mugabe.

In a separate statement Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Mr. Mugabe's government cannot be considered legitimate in the absence of a presidential runoff.

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the run-off on Sunday, citing a campaign of violence against members of his party.

British officials have also said they consider the Zimbabwean president "not legitimate" because of violence against the opposition and violations of Zimbabwe's own electoral laws.

Britain has said it will support tougher sanctions against Mr. Mugabe and his associates. The United States, Britain, and European Union currently have travel bans and other targeted sanctions on more than 100 individuals associated with the Mugabe government.

A top British Foreign Office official, Mark Malloch Brown, suggested that as a further measure, international regulators could freeze foreign bank accounts held by Mr. Mugabe's generals.

Australia also said Monday that it is looking to increase sanctions against Zimbabwe. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called on African nations to do more against what he called the brutal Mugabe regime.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the circumstances that led to Mr. Tsvangirai's withdrawal do not bode well for the future of democracy in Zimbabwe. The U.N. chief called for the postponement of the election.

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