US Extends Sanctions On Zimbabwe Over Human Rights Violations

United States has extended sanctions hammered on Zimbabwe over alleged violation of human rights and a crackdown on the opposition.

In a statement on Thursday, President Joe Biden said Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa didn’t fulfill his promises to bring political reforms to the country. Mnangagwa had replaced former President, Robert Mugabe in a military coup.

“President Emmerson Mnangagwa has not made the necessary political and economic reforms that would warrant terminating the existing targeted sanctions programme,” President Biden said.

“Throughout the last year, government security services routinely intimidated and violently repressed citizens, including members of opposition political parties, union members and journalists.

“The absence of progress on the most fundamental reforms needed to ensure the rule of law, democratic governance and the protection of human rights leaves Zimbabweans vulnerable to ongoing repression and presents a continuing threat to peace and security in the region.”

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The sanctions had been imposed since 2003 at the height of the Zanu-PF alleged mishandling of the country. Assets of top government officials were frozen while travel bans were imposed on business people believed to be funding the ruling party.

President Biden said the situation had not changed in the country to warrant lifting the sanctions.

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“The actions and policies of certain members of the government of Zimbabwe and other persons undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes or institutions and continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States,” he added.

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“Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergence Executive Order 13288, as amended, with respect to Zimbabwe and to maintain in force the sanctions to respond to this threat,” the POTUS said.

The US sanctions affect 86 Zimbabwean individuals and 56 entities. Majority of the entities are state-owned companies. 

The US’ extension of its sanctions is coming one month after the EU did the same.

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