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Obama Extends Sanctions on Zimbabwe Leaders

U.S. President Barack Obama has extended sanctions against Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his key supporters for another year.

In a pair of statements late Monday, Mr. Obama said the travel and financial restrictions on Mr. Mugabe and his allies will extend at least through March 6, 2011.

President George W. Bush imposed the sanctions in 2003, accusing Mr. Mugabe of undermining Zimbabwe's democratic institutions and causing instability in southern Africa.

President Obama says the crisis has not been resolved, and that Mr. Mugabe's actions continue to pose a threat to U.S. foreign policy interests.

President Mugabe has demanded an end to the sanctions and similar measures imposed by Britain and the European Union.

The sanctions were put in place a few years after Mr. Mugabe's government began seizing white-owned farmland for transfer to landless blacks.

The Zimbabwean leader said he was correcting a colonial-era injustice. Critics say the move triggered a sharp drop in food production and the collapse of Zimbabwe's economy.

Millions of Zimbabweans have fled the country in the past decade, mostly to South Africa.

Zimbabwe's economy has stabilized since Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and the longtime opposition MDC formed a unity government last year.