Zimbabwe: President Mnangagwa pleads for western sanctions removal

By on December 14, 2017

Country’s new leader Thursday called on the west to remove economic sanctions imposed on Mugabe-era Zimbabwe as the former British colony begins a new life following former President’s 37-year rule.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressing ruling party Zanu-PF officials called for the removal of the sanctions.
“We call for the unconditional lifting of the political and economic sanctions, which have crippled our national development,” he told a meeting of the ZANU-PF central committee in downtown Harare.
“We realize that isolation is not splendid or viable as there is more to gain through solidarity, mutually beneficial partnerships.”
Mnangagwa, 75, came to power last month after former leader Robert Mugabe resigned following 37 years autocratic control. He was forced to step down by the army after axing his deputy Mnangagwa in the race for his replacement at the head of the party. The new leader has long been the army’s favorite should Mugabe br replaced.
The US and EU in 2002 imposed sanctions against Mugabe, his entourage and some institutions following allegations election ringing and human right abuses.
The EU in 2014 removed the sanctions except those against Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace. The US however has maintained its sanctions in place.
The sanctions targeted few than 200 people and institutions in Zimbabwe, Shannon Smith, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs told the VOA’s Zimbabwe service.
She told media that the sanctions will stay in place adding that the sanctions were not the cause of the country’s economy decline. The US official travelled to the Southern African country this month where she met with the new leadership establishment and opposition.
Mugabe for long criticized the sanctions that he said crippled the economy and were rather imposed to punish the country for its land redistribution plan which saw many white people deprived of lands and key resources.
Also on Tuesday, US state department official Stephanie Sullivan told a senate committee hearing that the sanctions are going nowhere and assets frozen will remain intact.
“It is not enough to say it (Harare administration) is a new government. We are engaging the new government with an open mind. It is not enough to say those sanctions previously imposed on the country would not apply,” Sullivan said.

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