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EU Suspends Zimbabwe Sanctions, Demands Reforms

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton.

European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton.

The European Union officially suspended its sanctions on Zimbabwe Wednesday, but said measures on President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace will only be removed in November, provided there is no decline in governance and the country’s human rights situation.

The European bloc’s arms embargo against Harare and the Zimbabwe Defence Industries also remain.

The EU urged Harare to implement security sector reform as well as upgrade and update the voters roll and liberalize the media as suggested by the African Union observer mission in the last election.

"The EU believes that significant improvements in the electoral process are required along the lines proposed by international and domestic observers, if future elections are to be both credible and transparent," the EU said.

"In particular, the EU would like to see the Zimbabwean authorities make progress on implementing the recommendations of the African Union Observer Mission concerning the verification of the voter’s roll and the liberalization of the media, and completing outstanding reforms, including those related to the security sectors."

Zanu PF has demanded the wholesale lifting of sanctions, calling the measures illegal and oriented towards a regime change agenda.