- Tourism has suffered because of EU sanctions. Above, Victoria Falls.
The EU has renewed the listings of the seven people and one entity targeted by its Zimbabwe sanctions for a further year, until 20 February 2018. Currently the sanctions are suspended in respect of all listed people and entities except for Robert Mugabe, Grace Mugabe, and Zimbabwe Defence Industries. See Council Decision 2017/288 amending Council Decision 2011/101/CFSP and the EU’s notices here and here.
It has also introduced an exception to its arms embargo on Zimbabwe, allowing for the export of certain explosive substances where they are solely for use in Zimbabwe’s civilian mining and infrastructure projects. See Council Regulation 2017/284 amending Council Regulation 314/2004 and Council Decision 2017/288 amending Council Decision 2011/101/CFSP.
Robert Mugabe’s government has reacted with anger to the European Union’s decision to extend sanctions against the dictator and a defence firm.
Foreign affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi told journalists that the targeted measures against Mugabe, his wife Grace Mugabe and the state-run arms manufacturer Zimbabwe Defence Industries was “unjustified”.
“We’ve been engaging with the Europeans trying to get them to see reason and remove these unlawful and unjustified sanctions against our head of state, first family and our country,” Mumbengegwi said. “Even now, they don’t give any reason to justify the sanctions because they don’t have the reasons.”
The EU announced on February 21 – Mugabe’s birthday – that they were extending sanctions which were first introduced against Mugabe and more than 200 close aides in 2002 over election rigging and gross human rights abuses that saw hundreds of opposition supporters being killed by Zanu PF militias. They have been extended annually ever since. The EU lifted the sanctions against most Zimbabwean officials but have kept Mugabe and his family on the black list.
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