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Russia and China veto UN sanctions on Zimbabwe

[JURIST] Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council [official website; JURIST news archive] draft resolution [text] Friday which would have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. The three other permanent members of the Security Council, the US, Britain and France, voted in favor of the sanctions, arguing that such measures were needed to respond to the repression and violence linked to Zimbabwe’s widely-discredited presidential election [JURIST news archive]. The draft resolution was submitted by the US [JURIST report] to the Security Council last week, and called for sanctions against Zimbabwe's newly reinstalled president Robert Mugabe [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and 13 of his top military and government officials. The draft resolution would have imposed a targeted sanctions scheme on Zimbabwe, including an embargo on all military or arms shipments and sales to the country, as well as travel bans and asset freezes on Mugabe and his associates. The draft resolution also called for Zimbabwe's government to accept mediation efforts by the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official websites]. AP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], presidential candidate of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [party website], are disputing the results of the recent presidential elections [JURIST news archive]. Tsvangirai is currently taking refuge [JURIST report] at the Dutch embassy in Harare. The MDC has estimated that at least 65 of its members have been killed [BBC report] since the first election in March. Human rights groups suggested that state-sponsored violence would only increase as the second presidential vote drew closer, and in the past few weeks the amount of election-related violence has increased, including the beating [ABC News report], torture [National Post report], and killing [NYT report] of MDC supporters throughout Zimbabwe. Last month, Mugabe's government expelled a UN human rights observer [JURIST news report]. Earlier in June, government forces stopped and detained US and UK diplomats [JURIST report], threatening them and beating one of their drivers.

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