Omid Memarian

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

ZIMBABWE: Fears Grow that Sanctions Could Derail Mediation
(My piece on the security council meeting and the efforts behind adopting a resolution on....)

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 8 (IPS) - U.S. and European efforts to achieve unanimity among the 15-member U.N. Security Council to adopt a sanctions resolution against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his top aides has run into opposition from African leaders who argue that it will only increase tensions there and in neighbouring countries.

"There isn't any unanimity in the Council on this," conceded British Ambassador John Sawers after the Security Council met on Zimbabwe Tuesday. "My delegation supports that resolution and likes to see it adopted as soon as possible."

"The statement issued by the G8 today clearly sets out that they deplored the violence they have seen and support the mediation that is on the way and needs to be reinforced by a U.N. envoy," he added, referring to the Group of Eight most industrialised nations, which are meeting this week in Japan.

The Security Council is expected to vote on the U.S.-backed draft resolution some time this week. French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert told reporters Tuesday that proponents of the resolution had secured nine votes, although Russia, which holds veto power on the Council, is not one of them, and its ambassador has expressed reservations about the draft. 

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