Page last updated at 22:17 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 23:17 UK

Mugabe urges lifting of sanctions

Robert Mugabe at UN General Assembly - 25/09/2008
Mr Mugabe said the Security Council had become undemocratic

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has urged the lifting of what he called illegal sanctions against his country.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, he said the sanctions were hampering Zimbabwe's economy.

After his re-election in disputed polls this year, Western countries tightened measures against individuals and firms seen to be supporting Mr Mugabe.

At the UN, he also called for reform of the Security Council, saying it had become the tool of powerful countries.

Zimbabwe's economy has gone into a sharp crisis in recent years, with annual inflation officially standing at 11,000,000%.

'False accusations'

"Once again, I appeal to the world's collective conscience to apply pressure for the immediate removal of these sanctions by Britain, the United States and their allies, which have brought untold suffering to our people," he said.

Mr Mugabe frequently blames the limited sanctions for his country's economic woes.

An attempt to tighten the sanctions earlier this year failed to get UN backing after China and Russia refused to support them.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe warns BBC reporter Laura Trevelyan "don't be a witch"

He said powerful nations on the Security Council - which he did not name - had falsely accused his government of human rights abuses.

Supporters of Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party were accused of mounting a campaign of intimidation against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) during the elections earlier this year.

"By the way, those who falsely accuse us of these violations are themselves international perpetrators of genocide, acts of aggression and mass destruction," he said, referring to the invasion of Iraq.

Mr Mugabe said the Security Council had become undemocratic and should be re-organised to include greater geographical representation with permanent seats for African nations.

He also thanked South Africa's former President Thabo Mbeki for brokering a power-sharing agreement reached earlier this month with the MDC.

Earlier, Mr Mugabe said he was devastated by Mr Mbeki's forced departure.

Under the deal, a new government is to be formed with ministers from both Zanu-PF and the MDC.

However, the two sides cannot agree on which ministries each party should hold.

Mr Mugabe said the agreement showed Africans could solve African problems, which, he said, were often the legacy of the West's colonial involvement in the continent.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific