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US, Europe Push For UN Security Council Discussion On Zimbabwe


The United Nations Security Council is expected Thursday to take up the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe as well as recent diplomatic confrontations there - though council members South Africa and Russia are said to be barring a wider discussion.

Diplomatic sources said the two countries argued that a Security Council discussion of the Zimbabwean political crisis would in effect preempt the forthcoming visit to Harare by U.N. Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Haile Mankerios.

But Washington and its allies were expected to urge U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to send not only a political envoy but an entire team to Zimbabwe to monitor human rights ahead of the presidential run-off election set for June 27.

Sources in the Zimbabwean Foreign Ministry said they would refused to accept such a U.N. mission, alleging U.S. and British interference in Harare's sovereign affairs.

Political analyst Chris Maroleng of the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa, told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that not much can be expected out of the Security Council as there is no consensus on Zimbabwe.

In Zimbabwe, meanwhile, the Southern African Development Community has started to deploy observers for the run-off election now just over two weeks away.

The regional organization said it has received no official complaints about the political violence that the opposition Movement for Democratic Change says has claimed the lives of 66 of its officers and supporters since the March 29 first round of elections.

The ruling ZANU-PF party says three of its members have died in such violence.

Tanki Mothae, director of SADC's organ on politics, defense and security, told reporter Blessing Zulu of that the observers are on the ground ahead of schedule.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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