Africa

EU eases Zimbabwe sanctions

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president. Photograph: Desmond Kwande/AFP/Getty Images Travel ban on six unnamed members of government suspended, and compromise reached over mining firm.

The European Union has eased sanctions on Zimbabwe to reward it for political reforms and agreed to lift sanctions on a Zimbabwean state-run diamond mining company if the country holds fair elections.

The sanctions were imposed in 2002 over human rights abuses and violations of democracy under the rule of President Robert Mugabe.

The EU reviews the sanctions annually and in recent years has eased them to encourage reforms being pursued by Zimbabwe's coalition government, in which Mugabe shares power with the prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels suspended a travel ban on six unnamed members of the Zimbabwean government and removed 21 unnamed people and one company from the list of those subject to travel bans and asset freezes.

The ministers reached a compromise on whether to remove from the same list the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, which operates five diamond mines in Zimbabwe's rich Marange fields.

The Belgian foreign minister, Didier Reynders, said ZMDC would be removed from the list within a month of elections being held in Zimbabwe, provided the polls were "peaceful, transparent [and] credible".

Belgium had pushed for ZMDC to be freed from sanctions but countries including Britain opposed its immediate removal from the list.

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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