Obama to take Mugabe, Zimbabwe back to UN


President Obama wants a fresh approach to toppling Robert Mugabe and is discussing with aides an unprecedented, US-led diplomatic push to get tough new UN sanctions imposed against the Zimbabwe regime, The Times has learned.

During talks Mr Obama has had with his top Africa advisers in recent weeks, the central idea they focused on was taking the issue of Zimbabwe before the UN Security Council, but for the first time to combine such a move with an intense diplomatic effort to persuade Russia and China not to block the initiative.

According to a senior aide present at the discussions, the goal of taking the issue of Zimbabwe to the Security Council would be to pass a series of "strong" sanctions, including a ban on arms sales and foreign investment. They also want to expand significantly the number of ruling Zanu-PF party officials subject to sanctions.

Last July, after Mr Mugabe was accused of rigging the elections to stay in power, China and Russia, who have significant financial interests in Zimbabwe, vetoed moves to impose UN sanctions. Mr Obama and his aides believe that, with the growing international outcry over conditions there and the devastating loss of life from the cholera outbreak, Beijing and Moscow can now be persuaded at the very least to abstain when the issue of sanctions comes to another vote.


This appears to be more magic thinking on the part of the Obama administration. If they are going to try this gambit, it would have made much more sense to clear the deal with Russia and China and some of the African nations who objected the first go round when things were just as dire and the evidence of election theft was fresher.


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