EU to Lift Zimbabwe Sanctions After Referendum

Posted July 23rd, 2012 at 7:25 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The European Union says it will lift most sanctions on Zimbabwean firms and individuals once the country holds a “peaceful and credible” vote on a new constitution.

A statement by EU ministers says they also have agreed to resume direct aid to Zimbabwe's government after a 10-year suspension.

The ministers, who met in Brussels Monday, said that once the constitutional referendum is organized, sanctions would be lifted on most of the 112 Zimbabweans under an EU asset freeze and travel ban imposed in 2002.

EU diplomats said the sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle will remain intact.

Mr. Mugabe's party rejected the decision as “nonsense.” A spokesman for the party said there is no reason to keep any sanctions.

A shaky unity government linking Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-FP with his rival Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change was formed in 2009 after disputed presidential elections. Since then, the coalition has experienced problems and disputes.

Mr. Mugabe has led the Zimbabwe government since 1980.

Zimbabwe completed a draft of its new constitution last week. No date has yet been set to put it to a vote by referendum.