EU to revise Zimbabwe sanctions
Harare - The European Union (EU) next month will meet to revise targeted sanctions and travel restrictions on President Robert Mugabe and his cronies in line with how the unity government has been implementing outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement (GPA), a senior diplomat said Monday. "The European Union will meet in February to revise its position on the sanctions. The decision will be collective and each member country will come up with their position," a senior diplomat told Radio VOP on condition he is not named. "The revision of the sanctions list will be based on the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA)." The EU and the United States slapped Mugabe and his close to 200 cronies on targeted sanctions for human rights abuses and unfair elections over the years. The Brussels based EU and the US only removed travel warnings to Zimbabwe on their citizens after the unity government was formed in February last year.
Meanwhile the French embassy has distanced itself from a story carried in the state controlled Herald newspaper on Friday reporting that the out-going French ambassador Laurent Contini called for the removal of sanctions when he bade farewell acting President Joice Mujuru. An official at the embassy said: "I held a brief with the outgoing ambassador and he said that he did not say that. Our position will be made in February." An EU team came last year on a fact finding mission on the situation in Zimbabwe and said the block will only fully re-engage with Harare if the GPA has been fully implemented. Mugabe has demanded that sanctions against him and his senior Zanu PF officials must be removed 'as they are not serving any purpose anymore' since the formation of the unity government. Zanu PF at its congress early in December resolved that they will not accede to anything in the on-going talks with the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions to resolve outstanding issues which are yet to be resolved by the unity government.