Monday, March 23, 2009

End the Sanctions

The Herald published an article today on Mugabe's urge to the United States and the European Union to end their sanctions against Zimbabwe. Mugabe made his pleas during the launch of the Short-Term Emergency Recovery Programme (STERP) last week. He hopes the influx of foreign aid will help revive the county. This plea also comes after Obama extended the US sanctions for another year earlier this month.

From the article:

Last week, the US said the inclusive Government has "a long way to go" before it (US) can remove sanctions.

A US State Department spokesman, Mr Robert Wood, said in Washington DC that his government had not seen evidence of what he said was an irrevocable move towards effective governance and respect of human rights.

"We have not yet seen sufficient evidence from the Government of Zimbabwe that they are firmly and irrevocably on a path to inclusive and effective governance, and as well as respect for human rights and the rule of law," he said.

He added: "So that government has a long way to go before we will consider . . . easing sanctions with that Government. We're not in any kind of discussion with . . . the Government of Zimbabwe on removing our targeted sanctions."

Mr Wood acknowledged that the sanctions have indeed caused terrible suffering but claimed that the US remains "very concerned about the plight of the Zimbabwean people."

The article also cited Trevor Manuel, South Africa's Finance Minister urging the Western countries to support the Zimbabwean government.

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