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US Considers Expanding Sanctions Against Zimbabwean Ruling Elite

The U.S. government has indicated that it is considering expanding targeted sanctions against senior officials of the Zimbabwean government and ruling party, but said that it will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of the country.

Reuters quoted U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Fraser this week as saying that Washington is “looking at additional sanctions against individuals who are supporting this regime.”

But she emphasized that Washington is also “looking at ways to ease the plight of Zimbabweans” facing hyperinflation and worsening food and fuel shortages.

Fraser’s comments emerged soon after a report in Harare’s Standard newspaper that quoted outgoing U.S. Ambassador Christopher Dell as saying the US government planned to deport the children of top government and ZANU-PF officials.

After the report emerged in the independent weekly, U.S. officials said the proposal was under discussion but that it had not reached the stage of implementation.

Political analyst and Sub-Saharan Africa specialist Marion Tupy of the Cato Institute in Washington told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he doubts the U.S. strategy of expanding sanctions will have the desired impact unless the entire world pressures President Robert Mugabe for change.

Elsewhere, some 100 Zimbabweans demonstrated at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg demanding that South African institutions and officials expel and deport students whose parents are top Zimbabwe government and ruling party officials.

Chairman Remember Moyo of the Zimbabwe Action Group, which staged the protest, said his organization’s objective is to send “ZANU-PF kids” back to Zimbabwe because they are being sheltered from a system that is in ruins.

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