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Zimbabwe: EU Re-Engagement Hangs in Balance

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Tuesday, 03 September 2013

Zimbabwe: EU Re-Engagement Hangs in Balance

No certainty exists yet over the removal of restrictive measures imposed by the European Union (EU) on Zimbabwe. EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell'Ariccia, said the bloc was awaiting the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union's final reports on the 31 July elections before deciding on the way forward. In its preliminary statement following the July 31 polls, SADC said the elections were peaceful and free, but the question as to whether they were fair would be addressed in a month's time.
However, two weeks ago, Zimbabwean president Mugabe acknowledged that he does not see the remaining sanctions being lifted. He said he was fed up with the West's attitude, in particular, towards Zimbabwe, arguing it was high time he hit back by imposing restrictions on western companies operating in the country. Zimbabwean officials are  to have long accused the EU of lacking commitment and negotiating in bad faith, AllAfrica informs.
After the escalation of political violence related to the elections in 2002, the EU decided to introduce measures against Zimbabwe as a mean to put pressure on those considered responsible. These measures have been renewed each year since 2002. The EU’s most recent renewal of the measures occurred in February 2012 when it decided to remove over two thirds of individuals and companies from the visa ban and the asset freeze list in recognition of the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), which allowed the  creation of the Government of National Unity (GNU) and progress made towards the creation of a conducive environment for the holding of  free, fair, peaceful and transparent elections. Zimbabwean President Mugabe and First Lady Grace Mugabe, and some companies such as the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, however, still remain under sanctions.

Source: AllAfrica