Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Wednesday, 23 April 2008 16:19 UK

UK 'would back Zimbabwe embargo'

Gordon Brown calls for ban on all weapons going to Zimbabwe

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said the UK would support proposals for a full arms embargo on Zimbabwe.

His comments come after it was revealed that a Chinese ship was trying to get arms into the African country.

Zimbabwe's electoral commission has still not announced the result of its presidential poll held on 29 March.

Mr Brown told MPs at Commons question time that the UK should tell Zimbabwe that what was happening in the country was "completely unacceptable".

'Unfair election'

Labour former minister Nigel Griffiths asked the prime minister to send a clear message to Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to "stop brutalising legitimate opposition, to listen to the democratic will of that country and to go".

Mr Brown responded: "I call on the whole world to express its view that this is completely unacceptable to the whole of the international community.

"Because of what has happened in South Africa, where there is an arms shipment trying to get to Zimbabwe, we will promote proposals for an embargo on all arms to Zimbabwe.

"At the same time we ask all the African Union observers and the international observers to make their views known about the unfairness of this election."

Vote recount

Zimbabwe's electoral commission has announced that Mr Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party has retained its parliamentary seat in Goromonzi West.

The result is the first from 23 constituencies following a complete recount of votes after the election.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change claims the recounts are an attempt to rig the election and overturn its parliamentary majority.

The leader of South Africa's ruling ANC party, Jacob Zuma, told the BBC that violence in Zimbabwe in the wake of the election was unacceptable, but that President Mugabe was not to blame.

Speaking after Downing Street talks with Mr Brown, he said: "Constitutionally he [Mr Mugabe] can't announce elections. That's the job of the electoral commission...

"I don't think we have reached the stage where we have to call an arms embargo."

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has called on other African nations not to allow the Chinese ship enter their territorial waters.


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