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July 12, 2008 

China and Russia Veto U.N. Sanctions Against Zimbabwe Leadership

On Friday, a U.N. Security Council resolution intended to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe's Mugabe regime failed when two of the 15-member body's permanent members – China and the Russian Federation – voted against the measure.

The resolution would have imposed a multilateral arms embargo on Zimbabwe, as well as a travel ban and financial sanctions against President Mugabe and 13 senior government and security officials considered most responsible for the crisis. (The U.S. has imposed an arms embargo on Zimbabwe since April 2002 and financial sanctions since March 2003)

The resolution would have determined, under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, that the situation in Zimbabwe posed a threat to international peace and security in the region, and would have demanded that the country's government immediately cease attacks against and intimidation of opposition members and supporters, while beginning a "substantive and inclusive political dialogue" between the parties with the aim of arriving at a peaceful solution that "reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people and respects the results of the 29 March elections."

The Russian Federation vetoed the measure only days after supporting the G8 statement at the Japan summit recommending that financial and other sanctions be taken against the Zimbabwe regime.

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