President Barack Obama has extended targeted sanctions imposed on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle saying the political situation has not improved in the country since the imposition of restrictive measures a couple of years ago.
In a statement, Obama said Wednesday the extension of an executive order declared by former U.S president George Bush is designed to protect United States interests and promote democracy.
The White House said Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the president publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date.
“In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency originally declared in Executive Order 13288 of March 6, 2003, and renewed every year since then, is to continue in effect beyond March 6, 2016.
“The threat constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe's democratic processes or institutions, contributing to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law, to politically motivated violence and intimidation, and to political and economic instability in the southern African region, has not been resolved.”
Obama said, "These actions and policies continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue this national emergency and to maintain in force the sanctions to respond to this threat.”
Former U.S. president Bush declared a national emergency on Zimbabwe, under Executive Order 13288 of 2003, accusing the country of undermining democratic practices.