Monday, June 23, 2008
U.N. Security Council backs Zimbabwe opposition
Hours after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai sought refuge from pre-election violence in a foreign embassy in Harare, the U.N. Security Council voted Monday to declare that a fair presidential runoff election in Zimbabwe was "impossible." In its first formal action in months of violence that followed voting in January, the council said Tsvangirai, the first-round leader, should take over Zimbabwe's presidency if a fair runoff cannot be held. Unfortunately, the council removed language from its statement blaming the government of longtime Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe of responsibility for the violence, which appears obvious, but still said conditions in Zimbabwe made a fair election "impossible," according to the Reuters international news service. Tsvangirai fled to the Netherlands' embassy on Monday, shortly before police raided the offices of his Movement for Democratic Change and arrested dozens of supporters. Many of the people in the offices had taken refuge there from apparently government-backed violence in their own communities.