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.

  • Peter - 2012-02-15 11:01

    You stupid "humanistic - weak willed" european politicians!!!Once again, let the Guilty off the Hook, so that you and or your families can try to get a slice of the lucrative trade that is possible with Zim!! IDIOTS!!!!!

      Fidel - 2012-02-15 11:27

      Mugabe's crime isn't driving Zimbabwe into the ground - who cares about Zimbabweans for god's sake? - but in not sharing the robbery and corruption with western corporations.

      Jonathon - 2012-02-16 09:03

      You know what pisses me off, and I know this is easier said than done so bare with me. Durring appartheid our black folk stood up and made the government take notice. What do the Zim folk do, move over to SA and do nothing but critt like people do on facebook about the gauteng toll system lol. I'm not saying nothing is going on over there but come on, why aren't more of their people making a noise and fighting this guy??

      Fidel - 2012-02-16 10:01

      It's entirely possible that Mugabe still enjoys considerable support in Zimbabwe, call it misplaced loyalty or whatever you want to call it, because the MDC has been amateurish and out of its depth politically when dealing with ZANU, perhaps the people of Zim have getting tired of their incompetency, like our would be opposition here at home called Cope.

  • Fidel - 2012-02-15 11:03

    "The arms embargo will remain in place and a freeze in development aid will be extended for another six months, the diplomats said." The freezing of development aid should be appluaded, encouraged and extended to most if not all of African countries as this aid has been detrimental to the development of the continent in that it has resulted in the tie wearing ignomaruses from the continent abdicating their responsibilities to aid agencies and foreign governments.

  • Celtis - 2012-02-15 11:30

    That makes sense. The EU is facing another recession and need the Zimbabwe cronies to start shopping again in Paris to save the Euro.

      Jonathon - 2012-02-16 08:56

      HAHAHA!! Agreed!!

      Jonathon - 2012-02-16 08:57

      A few corrupt african polititians tax money shopping sprees should sort out their reccesion one time hahaha.

  • sosty.rammutla - 2012-02-15 11:31

    propaganda thats what!! 1 thing i like about Mugabe as much as Lucas Mangope is thier percistence apart for long terms in office, they have done the greates jobs with thier administration. Wish you would report the true nature of Zimbabwe not these desert stories poverty exists everywhere i guess it would be bad publicity for people to know that Zimbabwe has survived without foriegn aid for all these years i wonder what would happen if all countries could follow suite.

      Spyker - 2012-02-15 12:31

      The only way to resolve the 'Zimbabwean Crisis' is direct Nato military intervention - as in Libya. The (said) intervention must extend south of the Limpopo, to rapidly remove the scourge that is currently governing SA - ie the rubbish that has openly supported Zanu-PF. This is the only means to establish a Botswana-style approach to Southern Africa - viz the only 'approach' that has been reasonably successful since 1994; thus, the mandate speaks for itself.

      Anthony - 2012-02-15 13:05

      Sosty.Rammutla It is pretty sickening how some will abuse their freedom, to idolize a TYRANT !!! Just mention , ONE other country in the whole world, where mothers left their own kids in care of relatives, than CRAWLED UNDER BARBED WIRE, into another country (SA) to earn some money, that is than send home, t to keep their loved ones ALIVE. You insult MILLIONS of Zimbabweans. Shame on you !!!!!!!

      Celtis - 2012-02-15 13:49

      Sosty, I wanted to call you something nasty like Soustryn but then I looked at your credentials and decided that I like you. You are probably right that a lot of jobs were created for some in Zimbabwe and that if you take the average civil servant from Zim and SA you will find that the Zim one is the slim one. I believe that they coped very well with their sanctions but not as well as SA did in the dirty years. I’m all for giving credit where it is due but in Zim case it is far and few between. The hanging on to power is a bad thing and only serves the party not the country.

      postma.roland - 2012-02-15 14:44

      I see you studied South Africa , what's wrong with Zimbabwe education System? Don't be a fool and call an article "Propaganda" if the country you defend is a disaster, poverty, people fleeing the country, farmers killed, people have NO education? If non of that have excited on a LARGE scale, then you could have called it "Propaganda". And forget the "west", the angry bunch is the majority of Zimbabwe's people who live abroad!. There's NO justice system in your country, and please, if your country is supreme then go and live in it. What's the point of argumentation if millions of your people are suffering. Why not change to unite, work to make a better country. There's something to think about and oh, anyone can see all your information on Facebook, I highly suggest you change the privacy setting.

  • Anthony - 2012-02-15 11:38

    @Fidel For a few seconds, you showed us the true Fidel; "For God'd sake, who cares about the Zimbabweans" !!!!!! And than you.......quickly deleted your post. You remember what I said to the Russians and Chinese: Slimy and Spineless !!!!!!!! For a few seconds, you showed us your sick and disturbed attitude towards any Arican who does not share your pathethic anti Western points of view.

      Fidel - 2012-02-15 15:24

      I have no clue what you are blabbling on about! Try coherence and logic and I might respond to you.

      Fidel - 2012-02-15 21:00

      You and Frank really struggle with comprehension! "Who cares about Zimbabweans" used in the context of my sentence refers to the same people who are not interested in the lives of Afghans, Iraqis,etc. All they care about is profiting from the chaos. English is my third language, you should do better than this as this is your mother tongue. It's getting tiring to spell out things to you as if I were conversating with a high school kid.

      Anthony - 2012-02-16 02:33

      @Fidel, Wrong, English is also not my mother tongue. And, no one is asking you to respond. If you do, fine. If you are getting tired of it, than leave it. goog nite !

  • david.lebethe - 2012-02-15 11:58

    It's about time that EU must know that Zimbabwe is not at war with anybody and is lest concerned about arms embargo. So, EU and the rest of Western countries can short themselves blue in the face and will still find Zimbabweans resolute - neither would efforts to divide the leadership of that country work nor attempt to relax sanctions affect Zimbabweans as they must now be aware of EU's bluff.

      Nic - 2012-02-15 14:47

      david.lebethe. I think you will find Zimbabwe is at war. It is at war with it's own people. Zanu-PF has done nothing but kill it's own since the late 60's and early 1970's up until now.

  • Max - 2012-02-15 12:03

    The AU will not be very happy, hopefully the EU is scared to death now.haha

  • Fidel - 2012-02-15 15:32

    Zimbabweans are pretty much getting on with their lives with or without the support of the EU. There is nothing that the EU can do, the Zimbabwean land has been transferred permanently to Zimbabweans. Yet in the past 18 months, there has been a tentative recovery, particularly in tobacco, as black farmers have begun to grow a cash crop that was once the preserve of white commercial farmers. Tobacco production collapsed to a low of 48.8m kg in 2008, down from almost five times that in 2000. At the start of 2009 it began to recover and production more than doubled to 123m kg in 2010. This year, it is forecast to be about 131m kg.

      Ryan - 2012-02-15 15:50

      "Transferred to Zimbabweans" FROM WHOM?

      Fidel - 2012-02-15 16:18

      From the colonialist.....

      Henri James Christie - 2012-02-16 07:30

      Yep, we've noticed. Keep up the good work

  • Ibo.thabo - 2012-02-15 18:44

    The illegal sanctions going to continue; The same US-EU imperial guys who not only did what they did to us for centuries, (Many appalling things including the fact of ruling us without any form of even weak democracy or freedom and still embed & deeply collaborating with tyrants like in the middle east) but they stand with the Jews to steal the Arab-Palestinian land on the argument that Jewish ancestors were born there for over 3000 years ago, so why the EU & US don’t let the Africans claim their land in SA & Zimbabwe on the same reasons like the Jews?

      Fidel - 2012-02-15 21:02

      It'll be interesting if one day Native Americans decided to claim their ancestral land back. Then you would hear all kind of excuses.

      Henri James Christie - 2012-02-16 07:27

      Please would you be so kind as to inform all your Zim buddies living in SA of this wonderful revelation of yours and encourage them to please return to their land of milk and honey without further delay!!

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