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Friday, 15 July 2011

Zimbabwe-EU - More of the Same?

Can one not be forgiven for having a feeling of déjà vu? Zimbabwe and the European Union are set to reactivate dialogue expected to explore ways of normalising relations between the two sides that soured in the last decade after Zimbabwe embarked on its land reform programme to address colonial land ownership imbalances.

In 2002, the European Union imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe against the tenets governing relations between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries espoused in the Cotonou Agreement. A report compiled by a team of EU countries established that the EU wanted to effect regime change in Zimbabwe given the impending 2002 elections. The EU says it slapped sanctions on Zimbabwe because of the latter's poor human rights record and alleged breakdown on the rule of law. […] Essentially, the sanctions remain, as does their grave intent to torpedo the status quo that seeks to consolidate the gains of the land reform and the greater liberation of the country from European domination. […]

And if one were to believe for a moment the reasons of sanctions according to the EU as relating to human rights, then the current attitude of the EU and its Western allies towards Zimbabwe's diamonds provides a clue of what to expect of the meeting. The EU and its allies have been blocking consensus by the Kimberley Process and Certification Scheme on the unconditional sale of diamonds from Marange. They have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe's diamonds and some reports suggest that EU banks have been urged not to deal with cash from Zimbabwe diamonds.

Source: AllAfrica/The Herald