EU Foreign Ministers To Meet Over Zim Monday

THE European Union (EU) foreign affairs ministers will meet on Monday to review targeted sanctions imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle.


Speculation was rife that the EU could relax the sanctions it slapped on Mugabe after the disputed 2002 presidential poll after the signing of the September 15 all-inclusive government pact.
The EU last month said the sanctions would remain in place until it was satisfied that the power-sharing deal was working.
Britain’s foreign secretary David Miliband this week said sanctions on Zimbabwe would be debated when the foreign ministers meet in Brussels on Monday.
Miliband, however, said the sanctions would stay until Mugabe forms an inclusive government.
The foreign secretary told parliament that the positive momentum built up when Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed to a power-sharing deal was “fast evaporating”.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai have been deadlocked since the signing of the deal on the allocation of cabinet posts.
“Until a new Zimbabwean government is appointed and that government shows by their action their commitment to reform, EU targeted measures will remain in place,” Miliband said.
Miliband, however, said Britain’s humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe would continue.
The EU sanctions include a ban on the sale, supply or transfer of arms to Zimbabwe, on any assistance concerning military activities, and on the supply of any equipment capable of being used for internal repression.
The sanctions also include a visa ban and an asset freeze on people who have committed human rights violations, and violations of freedom of speech and assembly in Zimbabwe.
Over 100 Zanu PF officials, among them Mugabe, his wife Grace and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, are barred from travelling to any EU country.
The United States, the EU, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand have since 2002 maintained visa and financial sanctions on top officials of Mugabe’s government as well as an arms embargo against Zimbabwe.

 

By Loughty Dube