News / Africa

EU Renews Sanctions Against Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's ruling party ZANU-PF war veterans march past the US Embassy holding placards condemning sanctions against their government in Harare, Zimbabwe, Apr 23, 2010 (file photo)
Zimbabwe's ruling party ZANU-PF war veterans march past the US Embassy holding placards condemning sanctions against their government in Harare, Zimbabwe, Apr 23, 2010 (file photo)

Multimedia

Audio
Peta Thornycroft

European Union sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and most of his colleagues in the ZANU-PF party have been renewed despite requests from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that they be abandoned.  The EU has lifted restrictions against 31 people, mostly wives of those on the sanctions list and a few minor political personalities.

Restrictions including visa bans and asset freezes remain on most ZANU-PF leaders and a number of state companies for another year.  The restrictions were first imposed in 2002 after violence accompanying presidential elections.

Three years ago, the EU and United States added state companies and a few private businesses and some business leaders who were not members of ZANU-PF to the list.

South African President Jacob Zuma and other leaders within SADC have asked the EU to lift the restrictions, saying they harm the regional group's ability to resolve the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe.

SADC is the guarantor of the political agreement which brought the two-year-old Zimbabwe unity government to power.

Zimbabwe political analyst Brian Raftopoulos said it was clear after recent violence, mostly against supporters of MDC and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in Harare, that the EU would not lift sanctions.

"Clearly they are moving towards rethinking what the meaning of these sanctions are, and it was always predictable they would not remove them this time around specially because of the recent violence," said Raftopoulos.

He said the EU had engaged in deep debate about the usefulness of the sanctions and the effect they had on efforts to mediate the issues afflicting Zimbabwe's power-sharing government.

He said the EU had chosen a holding position.  Raftopoulos and other analysts are concerned about lack of progress of the SADC medaition.

"The problem of course, is that for the moment the SADC mediation doesn't seem to be moving very effectively," added Raftopoulos.

MDC finance minister Tendai Biti has said repeatedly that the restrictions against some of Zimabwbe's state companies should be lifted.  He said restrictions on some of these companies hurt the economy.

Mr. Mugabe says sanctions have caused misery to millions of Zimbabweans.

Zimbabwe trades normally with the EU and the United States.  Most businessmen in Zimbabwe say they want all the restrictions lifted.

Among those whose names have been removed from the EU list is Peter Chingoka, the long- standing boss of Zimbabwe cricket.

When the inclusive govenrment came to power, MDC education minister David Coltart, also responsible for sport, moved quickly to persuade most of the cricketing world to re-engage with Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe cricketers are now playing internationally.

So far neither the EU nor U.S. have disclosed what assets belonging to those on the list have been frozen by the sanctions.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs