February 10, 2004

EU to renew sanctions against Zimbabwe

The European Union is set to agree this month to roll over for a third year sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe, notably extending a list of officials banned from the EU, diplomats say. The sanctions were first imposed on the country in 2002 for alleged rights abuses and electoral fraud. The deadline to renew the sanctions is due February 20. As diplomats said a meeting of EU ambassadors next week would approve the decision, which would be formally adopted on February 19, at a meeting of EU interior ministers. "The current sanctions will be maintained ... The situation in our view is not improving," said an EU source, adding: "These measures are aimed at named individuals and not the people of Zimbabwe." The original ban imposed travel restrictions on top government and ruling party officials, as well as freezing their assets. Initially in 2002, 19 people were listed. According to EU sources, that list will include up to 90 names this year. As well as renewing the sanctions, EU foreign ministers are also expected to agree a statement on the situation in Zimbabwe at a meeting in Brussels on February 23, officials say. The EU has also imposed an embargo on supplies of arms and military equipment to Harare. (EU Business)

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