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EU Eases Sanctions on Zimbabwe

Feb 18, 2013 10:36 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... The foreign affairs council of the European Union (EU)  suspended a travel ban on six members of Zimbabwe's government and agreed to remove 21 people and one company  from its sanctions list. The names were not immediately released, however.  Belgium had lobbied the EU to remove sanctions on the Zimbabwean Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), which controls diamonds in the Marange. However, this past week, Global Witness urged the EU to not only maintain existing restrictive measures on Zimbabwe but add diamond miner Anjin and businessman  Sam Pa to the list.

In a statement published today, the EU ministers welcomed an agreement between rival political parties in Zimbabwe regarding the completion of a final draft constitution and referendum, paving the way for ''peaceful, transparent and credible'' presidential elections later this year.

The EU governing body of ministers stated that it was encouraged by the continued commitment of the South African Facilitation Team and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in supporting Zimbabwe's progress.

''As demonstrated in July 2012, and the agreement by the foreign affairs council today the EU, consistent with its incremental approach, stands ready to further adjust its policy to recognize progress as it is made by the Zimbabwean parties along the SADC roadmap. As stated in the council conclusions of July 2012, a peaceful and credible constitutional referendum would represent an important milestone justifying an immediate suspension of the majority of all remaining EU targeted restrictive measures against individuals and entities.''

The EU called for all political parties in Zimbabwe to maintain the momentum going into the election season and to complete the implementation of the growth plan and roadmap.

Tags: diamonds, Europe, Jeff Miller, Marange, sanctions, Zimbabwe
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