Zim led by 'criminal cabal'

2008-07-09 21:14

Toyako - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Wednesday rallied the world community to support UN sanctions against Zimbabwe, denouncing the regime's leaders as a "criminal cabal" who stole power.

Brown, speaking after the Group of Eight summit of rich nations in northern Japan, Brown said the G8's pledge of new measures against Zimbabwe would boost the chances of the UN Security Council imposing sanctions on Harare.

"For the first time the G8, and every country within the G8, has come out in favour of sanctions" against Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe claimed victory in a violence-racked June 27 election widely branded as a sham.

"I hope the whole international community will now find it possible to condemn the illegitimate regime in Zimbabwe and to make the pressure of the world clear so we can move to a transition in Zimbabwe as soon as possible."

Brown said the G8, by promising new actions, including targeted "financial measures" against leaders, had opened the way for the UN Security Council to adopt a sanctions resolution proposed by the US and Britain.

The G8 "made it clear we would impose new sanctions against an illegitimate regime that has blood on its hands", Brown said.

The sanctions, which include measures such as an arms embargo and the freezing of the assets of Mugabe and 13 of his cronies, would put serious pressure on Harare.

"There should be no safe haven and no hiding place for the criminal cabal that now make up the Mugabe regime," Brown said at a media conference.

But Mugabe's regime on Wednesday branded the G8 leaders' threat of more sanctions "international racism" and a bid to force out the Zimbabwe president following his widely condemned one-man election.

Mugabe, who has been in power for 28 years, was re-elected to a sixth term in a one-man run-off poll on June 27 that was widely denounced as a sham and marred by violence.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who won the first round of the poll but fell short of a majority, pulled out of the contest citing a campaign of violence and intimidation.