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EU Ministers Ratify Extension of Zimbabwe Sanctions Citing 'Insufficient' Progress

EU foreign ministers said that Zimbabwe had made 'insufficient progress towards democracy' and expressed regret at the lack of progress on the rule of law, human rights and other issues

European Union foreign ministers have officially adopted last week’s decision by junior ministers of the 27-nation bloc to extend targeted travel and financial sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and about 200 top officials of his ZANU-PF party and related companies for another year.

The decision lifted sanctions on some state enterprises, though, and the EU Foreign Affairs council said it was “ready to review its position in case of a change of course by the Zimbabwean authorities.”

The Foreign Affairs Council said that despite a year of power-sharing, Zimbabwe had made "insufficient progress towards democracy" and expressed regret at what it termed a lack of progress on the rule of law, human rights, constitutional reform, power sharing on equal terms, national reconciliation, security sector reform and the protection of investor rights.

The ministers said the EU would continue to review sanctions and could lift them if power-sharing issues between Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara were resolved.

Political analyst John Makumbe of the University of Zimbabwe told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that the Council's characterization of the current state of affairs in Zimbabwe was entirely accurate.

Political analyst George Mkhwanazi told Ntungamili Nkomo that ZANU-PF has done little to merit the removal of Western sanctions.