Mugabe Sanctions To Stay, US Insists

Zimbabwe's Mugabe The US has said that it would not lift sanctions against Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle until the Harare government implemented political reforms.

US assistant secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson told journalists via a telephone conference that current restrictions would not be lifted until significant reforms were made.

“The US continues to maintain sanctions on Zimbabwe and will do so until we believe that substantial and irreversible progress has been made in the implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement,” he said.

President Mugabe and several officials from his Zanu-PF party were slapped with targeted sanctions in 2002 following allegations of electoral fraud and human rights violations.

The European Union, which also imposed sanctions on the Zimbabwean officials last week said, said it would consider easing its embargo in July following what was described as a fruitful meeting with ministers from the southern African country in Brussels.


In February, the EU removed a visa ban and asset freeze on 51 of the 150 people on the sanctions list. Twenty of the 30 companies on the list were also removed.

But Mr Carson said the US would not necessarily follow the EU lead although it had also removed some of the people from its own list.

“We will continue to review our sanctions and we have taken a few people off the list, not as many as the European Union,” he said.

A delegation of three ministers representing the parties in Harare’s troubled inclusive government met the EU policy chief Ms Catherine Ashton to press for the removal of the sanctions.

The EU said positive reforms by the inclusive government President Mugabe formed four years ago had allowed for progress towards the normalisation of ties.

President Robert Mugabe blames Zimbabwe’s decade long economic crisis on the sanctions but critics say his reluctance to reform has frustrated the country’s reintegration into the international community.

Africa Review

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