Pillay urges west to lift Zim sanctions

2012-05-25 14:33

Harare – The UN rights chief Navi Pillay on Friday urged Western countries to suspend sanctions on Zimbabwe and its President Robert Mugabe to give the country a chance to implement reforms.

"I would urge those countries that are currently applying sanctions on Zimbabwe to suspend them, at least until the conduct of the elections and related reforms are clear," she said in Harare after a five-day visit.

"Sanctions should be entirely suspended for people to entirely focus on economic issues that need to be addressed," she said.

During her visit, Pillay met with Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who joined the long-ruling Mugabe in a unity government formed in 2009 to halt election-linked bloodshed that killed more than 200 of the premier's supporters.

The unity government is meant to clear the way to new elections, but preparations are lagging years behind and no date has been set.

Western nations imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe following disputed presidential polls in 2002.

Mugabe, 88, has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

  • gregory.f.dean - 2012-05-25 15:24

    She (Ms Pillay) is putting the cart before the horse! It is Mugabe's intransigence to the changes meant to be overcome by the so called Government of National Unity that is bedevilling the process - not the sanctions against Mugabe and his 50 odd fanatical supporters. He is clinging to power and will continue to do so for as long as possible. IF sanctions should be lifted will there be free and fair elections? I doubt it.

      Happy - 2012-05-25 15:34

      What a load of tosh from a white man

  • Henry - 2012-05-25 15:32

    There should be harsher sanctions applied until zanu-pf are gone

      Happy - 2012-05-25 15:44

      Dream on. Zanu will never ever go anywhere my friend. That is why you saw it get votes during the 2008 elections. That was when Zimbabweans where voting with their stomachs. This time around there will be no protest votes but genuine votes where your dreams of a white controlled Zimbabwe will be put to rest once & for all.

      Felix - 2012-05-25 15:47

      If you are so happy racist agent, why are you living in London?

      Buzz - 2012-05-25 16:15

      Happy, Why don't you make the rest of us happy and go live in Zim with all the privelidges you have here (electricity, internest etc...). Oh wait, Bob has buggered it all up and there is nothing there you hippocrate.

      Nicholas - 2012-05-25 17:57

      @Happy - Says he who lives far away from the grinding poverty and suffering caused by black misrule in white governed UK where everything works and he has food on the table!

      Wilbert - 2012-05-26 20:19

      Henry, you are right, we should have had harsher sanctions! I have never understood why the West has never fine-tuned the targeted sanctions to make sure they really did hit their targets. I had expected President Obama to step up on the mark on this issue; sadly he has been a great disappointment.

      Sharon - 2012-05-27 13:06

      hey happy,what are you doing using a white mans machine to post your stupid comments on the white mans media using the white mans language.hurry back to your kraal your goats are waiting for you

      balan.morgen - 2012-06-09 07:43

      @Happy, are you still opressed or Depressed.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-05-25 15:32

    Does the UN commissioner support Mugabe or the people of Zimbabwe? This is a ridiculous statement and request to ask from Western countries. Mugabe spews hatred towards the west at every conceivable opportunity, so why should he want sanctions to be lifted? So that the west can pay for his funeral. While Mugabe is alive, investing any currency into Zimbabwe is only destined to buy Grace more pairs of shoes.

      Happy - 2012-05-25 15:41

      We all know sanctions affect ordinary people in Zimbabwe & this nonsense of trying to punish Mugabe for standing up against Western bullies is something NOT many Zimbabweans support. Only a few individuals & whites who dream of the glory days when they behaved like small kings in Zimbabwe would love to see the suffering of Zimbabweans continue. That way, they can blame it on Mugabe. We're no longer as backward as you wish for. This is 2012 & not 1963.

      Tommy - 2012-05-25 15:52

      If you are no longer as backward, why can't you see that Mugabe is raping your country, and as you say the people suffer because of it?

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-05-25 16:09

      Hi Happy. Sanctions work, just like they did in South Africa, when the world was sick of the Apartheid regime. My question is why don't the ordinary people of Zim, change their own destiny. First they hate the west then they want the west, well guess what the west is doing fine with or without Zimbabwe. The west is sick of Mugabe' and his regime, so why should the west support it. As for ordinary people suffering, it surely is not any fault of the west, and the whites you claim to be the cause of the problem have been out of the picture for almost half a century now. So, stop playing at being a victim anymore it does not wash anymore. The west is sick of hearing your blame game as well.

      Wilbert - 2012-05-26 20:06

      Happy Even if sanctions affect ordinary Zimbabweans; why should they be denied their basic and fundamental right to free elections? Ms Pillay was in Zimbabwe to address the country's never ending problem of politically motivated violence. The violence is getting worse as the date of fresh elections approaches. We all know the root cause of the violence - this is Mugabe's ruthless attempt to deny ordinary Zimbabweans their right to freely choose the nation's leaders and to stay power regardless of the democratic wishes of the people. Mugabe has vowed there will be no regime change in Zimbabwe. Free and fair elections are ultimately about regime change; Mugabe has to put that in his pipe and smoke it. It is totally intolerable that the whole nation should be held to ransom by a power hungry tyrant. Mugabe has given all manner of feeble excuses for frustrating all efforts to have democratic reforms; the demands to have sanctions lifted is but one of these excuses. Still they are just that - feeble excuses. The right to free elections is a basic right and not to be turned into a conditional one by linking it to something else.

  • Tommy - 2012-05-25 15:43

    Didn't Mugabe not to long ago tell the UK and USA to go to hell...or something like that?

      Happy - 2012-05-25 15:50

      So? What does that have to do with sanctions? Why dont they impose sanctions on China, a country that has told them to go to hell millions of times?

      Gerhard - 2012-05-25 15:56

      Happy I do not mind Mugabe ruling Zimbabwe into the ground. Cheers!

  • pcesp - 2012-05-25 16:11

    How do sanctions imposed directly on the ruler and his "family" , affect the poor ? If as Mugabe said " the west can goto hell" why lift the sanctions ? how will they being lifted make a difference ? If elections are free and fair , then yes , lift them , but as we saw in the last elections when bob did not win , he used violence to try ( and did ) get back as president .

  • Mark - 2012-05-25 17:50

    Bollocks to her, must be on another planet

  • Mark - 2012-05-25 17:53

    What is happy on??? Must be a clone!!!

  • Nicholas - 2012-05-25 17:59

    I wonder if Navi Pillay would have said the same thing when sanctions were being instituted against South Africa?

  • Jack - 2012-05-25 18:01

    Is that a SHE?? Who hoooo I hope she is not married. Ha ha ha

      balan.morgen - 2012-06-09 07:49

      Navi Pillay looks like a Drag Queen

  • george.michaelides.71 - 2012-05-25 18:03

    Bollocks.......go away havent seen the horrendous stuff.............Bye Bye......

  • Wilbert - 2012-05-26 19:27

    An organisation is as good as the people running it; what Ms Pillay has done here is a great disservice to the UN and South Africa (since she is South African). For a judge she is as stupid as they come! We assume she accepted there have been serious human rights violations in Zimbabwe, specifically the never ending political violence which have made it impossible to have free and fair elections. It was for that very reason - failure to hold free elections - that the West imposed the targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his cronies ten years ago. The same sanctions she is now asking the West to lift although Mugabe has stubbornly refused to implement any democratic reform. But put all that to one side. Every thinking Zimbabwean has repeatedly rejected Mugabe’s futile attempts to link free elections to lifting of the sanctions. Whether or not the targeted sanctions hurt ordinary Zimbabweans directly or otherwise why should Zimbabweans be denied their basic and fundamental right to a meaningful say in the governance of their country because of what the West, rightly or wrongly, has done to Mugabe? The fact of the matter is Zimbabweans were systematically denied their vote long before the West imposed sanctions on Mugabe, making the linkages even more tenuous. Ms Pillay - UN’s Human Rights CHIEF, a qualified lawyer and experienced Judge – fell for Mugabe's warped logic and she is now fighting in tyrant’s corner for the lifting of the targeted sanctions! What a shame!

  • bbsklda - 2012-05-29 10:49

    Navi Pillay must take the pips out of whatever she is smoking.....suspend sanctions? Every single democratically minded person in Zimbabwe knows that the next elections will be far from free and fair. Oh....and the sanctions are aimed at that despot and his cronies, NOT the people of Zim.

  • ant.duke - 2012-05-29 11:10

    In the meantime, they arrest a BBC journalist, rough him up and release him. Just to completely bugger up his weekend...

  • ruben.maistry - 2012-06-09 08:35

    Given the history of Mugabe's rule, the office you hold, surely Navi Pillay, is their something that I am missing? Yes, sanctions will bring hardships,for a short period, beter that then suffering for decades.

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