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US Designates Mugabe as Financier of Terrorism

The U.S. Treasury Department has placed Zimbabwe's president, his wife, and his nephew on its list of people believed to have funded terrorist groups.

Robert, Grace and Leo Mugabe were added to the "Specially Designated Nationals" list, which is run by the Treasury office that enforces economic sanctions against those listed.

Businessmen Billy Rautenbach and John Bredenkamp, who have close ties to President Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party, also were added.

The Treasury Department did not give a reason for its moves.

In an interview with VOA's Zimbabwe Service Tuesday, Leo Mugabe said he was not aware that he was on the list.

Over the past decade, the U.S. and other Western nations have imposed travel and financial sanctions against Mr. Mugabe and his close allies for alleged political repression and human rights abuses.

Critics of the Zimbabwean president blame him for ruining his country's economy with his policies, especially the seizure of white-owned commercial farms.

Mr. Mugabe blames Zimbabwe's economic decline on Western sanctions.