Monday, February 15, 2010

Zimbabwe Sanctions Must Be Lifted, Says African Union

Zimbabwe: Country's Sanctions Must Go - AU

Owen Gagare and Sydney Kawadza
Zimbabwe Herald
3 February 2010

Harare — THE African Union has demanded the immediate lifting of illegal Western economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Speaking at the Harare International Airport soon after his return from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, yesterday afternoon, President Mugabe described the just-ended 14th AU summit, which made the declaration on the sanctions, as the "most successful" he had ever attended.

In an earlier interview at Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the sanctions scrapping proposal was made by officials from Senegal's Foreign Ministry under instruction from President Abdoulaye Wade.

Minister Mumbengegwi said the summit unanimously adopted Senegal's proposal.

"The AU has called for the speedy lifting of all sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe. The decision was, in fact, drafted by the Senegalese with our input. The Foreign Minister of Senegal came to us, under instruction from his President, to draft the decision.

"It was unanimously adopted and the chairman of the AU Commission (Dr Jean Ping) was asked to follow the matter up and give a report at the July AU summit," Minister Mumbengegwi said.

Minister Mumbengegwi said he had "fruitful" discussions with European Commission delegates on the illegal sanctions.

He said the delegates had no problems with Zimbabwe although their member-states needed to change their attitudes.

On recent comments by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband that his country would only remove sanctions when advised by the MDC, Minister Mumbengegwi said it was good that the international community now knew the truth about the embargo.

"To me, it sounded like a confession, and I'm sure the rest of the world heard it. It is now up to the members of the inclusive Government who were mentioned to act but I haven't heard anything from them about the matter yet," he said.

Minister Mumbengegwi welcomed Zimba-bwe's election into the AU's Peace and Security Council, although some Western nations were angered by the development.

Zimbabwe, he said, had the right to be in any organ as it was an AU member.

He added the fact that Zimbabwe was elected by a full majority showed that Africa had confidence in the country.

Addressing journalists at the Harare Interna-tional Airport, President Mugabe described the Summit as the "best-ever."

"The summit was a tremendous success. It was one of the best summits that I have ever attended. Even during the election of a new chairman, there was not much hassle and we are very happy that our region has been honoured through the election of President Bingu wa Mutharika (of Malawi) as the chairman."

On the summit theme -- "Information Communication Technologies: Challenges and Prospects for Development" -- President Mugabe said the topic remained important to Zimbabwe and Africa.

"We remain committed to the development of communication in our operations as Govern-ment. Information communication technology is very functional in all spheres of governance in the country."

He, however, bemoaned the lack of growth in some sectors, especially at TelOne saying that company needed a "major overhaul".

Speaking on Zimbabwe's election to the AU Peace and Security Council, President Mugabe said the country would use the opportunity to deal with issues of Western interference in other countries' domestic affairs.

"That (election into the council) is very important. We will be able to ward off interference from external forces that are always trying to tarnish our image," he said.

President Mugabe met his Tanzanian counterpart, Jakaya Kikwete, on Monday night and shared notes on various issues.

"He briefed me on the Davos (World Economic Forum) meeting and said it went very well. He also told me that they are going to have an African version of Davos in Tanzania where he will invite all African leaders."

He said President Kikwete briefed him on the forthcoming elections in Tanzania, pointing out they too had experienced undue foreign interference in regard to Zanzibar.

"We, however, would like to work with them so that we strengthen our co-operation with Chama Cha Mapinduzi and our party, Zanu-PF," President Mugabe said.

The two leaders, he said, had an opportunity to discuss issues outstanding from the Copenhagen Summit on Climatic Change.

"We are yet to be clear where we are going; with Africa in support of the Kyoto Agreement and the West going away from the Kyoto Agreement. They do not want to follow the agreement but as Africa we are directed by the principles of the Kyoto Agreement," he said.

President Mugabe was received at the airport by Vice Presidents Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo, senior Government officials and service chiefs.

1 comment:

Parag said...

It is great to know that the summit was a success.This is important for Zimbabwe.
addis ababa bole international airport