Obama extends sanctions on Zim as UK softens

2015-03-05 14:56

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Cape Town – The US has reportedly extended sanctions on Zimbabwe by another year, arguing that President Robert Mugabe and his cronies continued to undermine the country's democratic processes.

According to The Herald, in a notice titled "Continuation of the national emergency with respect to Zimbabwe", Washington also claimed that Mugabe was a threat to US foreign policy.

Washington said: "The threat constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe's democratic processes or institutions has not been resolved".

The US said these actions and policies continued to pose "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States".

The US sanctions were first imposed in 2003.

Frosty relations

The move has, however, been described by Africa as "senseless and meaningless", said the report.

Mugabe, 91, is the current chairperson of the African Union (AU). The nonagenarian is also the Southern African Development Community chairperson. 

The extension of the US sanctions on Zimbabwe comes at a time when the British government is said to be dispatching its secretary for international development to Harare for meetings set to amend frosty relations between the two countries.

New Zimbabwe.com reported on Wednesday that Zimbabwe had welcomed London's overtures to improve sour relations since western countries imposed sanctions to punish Mugabe for alleged rights abuses and electoral fraud.

Ruling Zanu-PF party's UK chairperson Nick Mangwana said Zimbabwe and the UK could not afford to walk away from their shared history.

'Shameful' role

"There have been differences in the past but everyone is making an effort to normalise relations for the benefit of both parties," Mangwana was quoted as saying.

 Last week, London mayor Boris Johnson, who is also tipped to be the next Conservative Party leader, openly admitted that Britain played a "shameful" role in Zimbabwe's economic woes.

In an article published in a UK daily The Telegraph, Johnson stated that Zimbabwe was now the second poorest nation in the whole world, adding that former British prime minister Tony Blair had a hand in the southern African country's mess.

"... It is vital to recognise that Zimbabwe was not always like this, and did not have to be like this. This [Robert] Mugabe tyranny is no accident – and Britain played a shameful part in the disaster," Johnson wrote.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  barack obama  |  us  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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