EU to keep up Zimbabwe sanctions

2012-02-15 10:31

Brussels - The European Union is expected to keep up sanctions on Zimbabwe but remove a third of the people from its list of those affected by asset freezes and visa bans, EU diplomats said on Tuesday.

The arms embargo will remain in place and a freeze in development aid will be extended for another six months, the diplomats said.

The decision, expected to be announced on Friday, comes after President Robert Mugabe's coalition government stabilised an economy that a few years ago struggled with food shortages.

However, Mugabe still controls the security organs, who have not made themselves properly accountable, and his government has failed so far to implement reforms, including a law to ensure fair elections.

"The EU supports the reform process," said one EU diplomat. "We recognise the progress made but expect that further progress will be made in the coming months ... We want to continue sanctions on those abusing power."

Fifty-one individuals will be removed from the list of people whose assets were frozen and who were not allowed visas to travel to the EU. Twenty entities will also be dropped from the list.

But another 112 individuals, including Mugabe, and 11 entities will stay on the list. These are people seen by the EU as undermining democracy, human rights and the rule of law, said one of the diplomats.

Mass human rights violations

Zimbabwe's foreign and justice ministers will have their visa bans suspended so that they can take part in talks with the EU

The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), an organisation promoting democracy and human rights, said the EU was premature in removing some of the names from the list.

"Those people under sanction have not done anything appreciable that would warrant lifting the measures," said the group's executive director, Sisonke Msimang. "In some cases, their behaviour has grown worse," added Msimang, without elaborating.

The decision on sanctions is expected be taken at a meeting of EU employment ministers.

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, and members of his Zanu-PF party were hit with sanctions in response to suspected mass human rights violations and vote rigging.

He has said he would not quit as long as the West maintained sanctions on his party, and has repeated calls for an election next year. He says the coalition government he was forced into with his rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, after disputed elections in 2008 was no longer working.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    eu  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Your incisive and innovative mind is on fire. You may be keen to explore new avenues that can help to inspire you. You may...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.