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United States Mulls Further Sanctions on Zimbabwe Over Human Trafficking

The U.S. administration said it might impose sanctions on Zimbabwe, already hit with so-called targeted sanctions aimed at the country's leadership, because the Harare government has failed to take action on human trafficking.

The White House said Zimbabwe made no progress during a 90-day grace period given a number of countries listed in June as deficient by the State Department. Other countries called “worst offenders” included Nnorth Korea, Iran, Sudan and Cuba.

Two countries - Belize and Laos - took enough anti-trafficking measures to get off the list. The status of the remaining countries as to sanctions remained unchanged.

Ambassador John Miller, head of the State Department's trafficking office, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that the main U.S. goal is to encourage countries that are identified as having trafficking issues to take them seriously.

It was unclear what other sanctions the U-S might impose on Zimbabwe. Officials in Harare are already targeted by financial and travel sanctions.

Political analyst and University of Zimbabwe lecturer John Makumbe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that it seemed doubtful the threat of further sanctions would bring about a change in policies in Harare.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...