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Zimbabwe Warns of Civil War if UN Sanctions Approved

By VOA News
11 July 2008

Zimbabwe is warning that any international sanctions against the ruling government could lead to civil war.

The warning was issued Thursday in a letter from Zimbabwe's mission to the United Nations.

The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote soon on a draft resolution that includes financial and travel restrictions against President Robert Mugabe and 13 other officials believed responsible for violence in the period before last month's presidential runoff vote.

Representatives from Zimbabwe's ruling party and from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change completed a second day of negotiations Friday in Pretoria, South Africa.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he sent a team to lay down conditions for talks, but not to open negotiations.

More talks are expected though no dates have been released.

Tsvangirai is demanding an end to violence against his political supporters, the release of political prisoners, and a mediator to be appointed alongside South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Mr. Mbeki has been negotiating between the two sides, but the MDC says he is biased in favor of President Mugabe.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf also called Thursday for another mediator to the Zimbabwe crisis and suggested a high-profile figure.

Mr. Mugabe was re-elected on June 27 in a widely-condemned runoff vote in which he was the only candidate.

Tsvangirai dropped out a few days before the election after more than 100 of his supporters were killed in violence he said was state-sponsored.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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