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US envoy calls for Zimbabwe sanctions -

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US envoy calls for Zimbabwe sanctions

The World Today - Monday, 28 April , 2008 12:33:00

Reporter: Jennifer Macey

ELEANOR HALL: As the post-election violence intensifies in Zimbabwe, the top US envoy to Africa
says the time has come for the international community to impose sanctions.

It's been four weeks since Zimbabwe's parliamentary and presidential elections and still no
official result has been declared.

The country's electoral commission says the presidential recount may be completed later today and
the results released later this week.

But in the meantime the harassment of the population continues, as Jennifer Macey reports.

JENNIFER MACEY: Each day brings more reports of violence against those who voted for the opposition
in Zimbabwe's elections.

The opposition party the Movement for Democratic Change says it has video footage of people with
bruises, burns and broken bones.

MDC SUPPORTER: They hit my nose with a stone then I fell off on the ground, then they said, "You
can't stand up because you are a doggie, why are you supporting MDC? We need you to come back to

JENNIFER MACEY: MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa accuses the Government of backing a violent campaign
against its supporters.

NELSON CHAMISA: We have a regime whose lust for power far outweighs the love for the people and
they would go even to serious lengths to try and eliminate and liquidate those characters who are
perceived anti status quo.

JENNIFER MACEY: And the violence has prompted a tough response from the US. American's top diplomat
to Africa, Jendayi Frazer, says the US embassy in Harare has received evidence of more than 450
people who've been beaten.

She's called on the international community to intervene.

JENDAYI FRAZER: The region needs to speak very, very loudly and very clearly to President Mugabe
and his government to say that the violence must come to an end immediately. It's unacceptable to
beat people just because they've decided to go out and vote - and apparently to vote for change.

JENNIFER MACEY: Ms Frazer says UN sanctions may help persuade the Mugabe regime to stop beating its
own population. But getting all five permanent members of the UN Security Council to agree to
sanctions is another matter.

ANU academic Dr Jeremy Farrall worked at the UN Security Council four years ago and has just
released a book on UN sanctions and the rule of law.

JEREMY FARRALL: China has historically been very reluctant to acknowledge a threat to international
peace and security when really what is going on is a domestic matter. They don't want situations
that are within domestic jurisdiction to be seen as threats to international peace and security.
And also, traditionally, they've been reluctant to approve sanctions.

JENNIFER MACEY: Dr Farrall says he's more concerned about reports that countries are exporting
weapons to Zimbabwe. On the weekend, Angola refused to allow a Chinese ship bearing arms to dock.

Such an arms embargo, says Dr Farrall may be more effective than economic sanctions.

JEREMY FARRALL: In recent times, the Security Council has been quite weary of applying
comprehensive sanctions as the type that were applied in Iraq, and have moved more to targeted or
what are often referred to as "smart sanctions".

And one example of smart sanctions is an arms embargo where you just try and prevent the flow of
arms to and from a particular target, in this case Zimbabwe. Other forms of sanctions would be to
apply a travel ban or an assets freeze against key policy makers in the area.

JENNIFER MACEY: And still Zimbabwe's population wait for the finals results of last month's
presidential polls to be announced. The electoral commission says results will be published this

But the commission chairman George Chiweshe has first invited both sides to verify the recounted

GEORGE CHIWESHE: So far as verification and collection is concerned, each party is going to work
out its own figures and they will then compare notes in the presence of observers. If they all have
one and the same figure then that is likely to be the accepted result.

JENNIFER MACEY: One result is already clear.

A partial recount of the parliamentary election has confirmed the opposition has won a majority in
the Parliament for the first time since independence from Britain in 1980.

But the power still lies with the President.

ELEANOR HALL: Jennifer Macey with that report.