Sunday, February 17, 2013

European Union Set to Meet Over Sanctions Against Zimbabwe

EU set to meet over sanctions

Sunday, 17 February 2013 00:00
Sunday Mail Reporter

The European Union is set to “ease” its illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe when the bloc’s foreign ministers meet in Brussels, Belgium, tomorrow.

Indications are that although some names will be removed from the travel ban list while a few of the 11 companies that are on the list will be struck off, the embargo will continue to hurt the country as the changes will only be farcical.

“The situation has not yet developed clearly in the way we want to see,” an EU diplomat was quoted as saying in a clear indication that tomorrow’s meeting will be a damp squib.

Zanu-PF, Sadc and the African Union have been calling for the total removal of the illegal sanctions, something that is not likely to happen in Brussels tomorrow if reports coming from the EU are anything to go by.

“Zimbabwe’s sanctions list is also on the table.

“According to EU diplomats, some people and companies are likely to be removed from the visa ban and assets freeze register as part of efforts to encourage democratic reform.

“Europe has signalled since July it was looking at a fresh relaxation of its sanctions regime on Zimbabwe, but there have been disagreements about how far to go.

“Germany and the UK have successfully argued for a ‘light modification’ of the sanctions regime, as one diplomat called it,” reads one of the reports.

Tomorrow’s meeting has already sent local and foreign non-governmental organisations into overdrive to outdo each other in presenting concocted reports in a bid to push for the tightening of sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Last week, Global Union claimed that removing the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation from the sanctions list would trigger violence ahead of this year’s harmonised elections.

“Global Witness’s investigations point to a serious risk that diamond revenues could be used to fund violence in this year’s (presidential) election.

“The Belgian government is claiming concern for the Zimbabwean people, however, its true interests are closer to home in the diamond markets of Antwerp,” the discredited outfit said in a statement.

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