Mugabe criticises US and Britain
Robert Mugabe says sanctions constitute a form of hostility and violence against his government.
UNITED NATIONS - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on Thursday scolded the US and former colonial power Britain and its allies for trying to control his nation and its resources, telling them to remove their "illegal and filthy sanctions."
"Shame, shame, shame to the United States of America. Shame, shame, shame to Britain and its allies," Mugabe, said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.
"Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans, so are its resources. Please remove your illegal and filthy sanctions from my peaceful country."
Mugabe said the sanctions imposed by the European Union and the US violated the UN Charter on state sovereignty and condemned them as a "foreign-policy tool to effect regime change".
The US and the European Union (EU) imposed sanctions on Zimbabwean state firms and travel restrictions on Mugabe and dozens of his associates after a violent 2000 election, and at the start of sometimes violent seizures of white-owned commercial farms for black resettlement.
Mugabe didn't refer to the lifting of EU sanctions on 17 September against Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp., which will allow the diamond-mining firm to sell its diamonds in Europe.
He said sanctions constituted a form of hostility and violence against his government, which was only trying to redistribute land to the majority of landless Zimbabweans.
"Our small and peaceful country is threatened daily by covetous and bigoted big powers whose hunger for domination and control of other nations and their resources knows no bounds," he said.
He said that if the sanctions were intended to unseat him from power "the results of the recent national elections have clearly shown you what they can do."
Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, overwhelmingly won a 31 July vote extending his 33-year rule. His main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, denounced the poll as a "huge fraud."
Washington has said the election was flawed and that it does not plan to loosen sanctions against Mugabe's government.