US won’t heed Sadc calls on Zim

2009-09-22 13:27

The United States of America will not heed calls by the Southern

African Development Community (Sadc) to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe.

In a statement released yesterday from the Federal News Service in

Washington DC, Ambassador Johnnie Carson, the assistant secretary for African

affairs said the US would not change its policy on Zimbabwe until tangible

political reforms were seen in the country.

He said the US had a lot of respect for the Sadc but differed with

the regional body on the perception of the nature of sanctions imposed on

Harare, when and how they could be lifted.

“I want to stress that the sanctions that the United States has in

place are primarily directed at individuals, some approximately 220 of them, of

the most senior officials in the government, and also at entities that they

possess or may own. We reserve the right to lift those sanctions when we want to

do so and when we see progress,” said Carson.

Early this month, the Sadc, at its summit in the DRC, passed a

resolution on Zimbabwe calling for unconditional lifting of Western-imposed


Carson said while the US would “like to see Zimbabwe not be a drag

on the Sadc and the region” it was imperative that democracy returned to the

southern African country and that Zimbabwean politicians implement in full their

own political agreement.

“We remain deeply concerned about the failure of the government of

Robert Mugabe, but particularly of President Mugabe and his party to live up to

the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement brokered by South

Africa and the Sadc and negotiated with the MDC.

Carson said the danger of “premature” lifting of sanctions on

Harare was the likelihood of Mugabe “exploiting” the economic advantages to

further tighten his grip on power.

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