Rice: U.S. to Call for U.N. Action Against Zimbabwe

The United States plans to introduce a U.N. resolution next week calling for tough action against Zimbabwe's government, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Saturday, to prevent the country's leaders from further abusing its population.

Speaking with reporters on her way to Seoul, South Korea, Rice said the U.S. and Britain could present the resolution to the U.N. Security Council as early as Monday.

The action is in response to the widely denounced runoff election in which Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is accused of using violence to coerce people to vote for him.

"It is time for the international community to act," Rice said. "It is hard to imagine that anybody could fail to act given what we're all watching on the ground in Zimbabwe.

"There needs to be a really strong message from the international community about what has happened there," she said.

A proposed resolution is being drafted and officials said it would probably be circulated informally over the weekend and presented to the full council Monday.

The U.S. currently holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council.

Rice declined to specify what will be in the proposed resolution but said there "has to be a deterrent effect from the international community at this point to (halt) further intimidation, further violence against the population."

"We will have to look to what other measures are available both to the U.S. and the international community more broadly to send a strong message of deterrence," she said, adding that the U.S. would "use everything in our power in terms of appropriate sanctions."