October 30, 2020

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EU Renews its Arms Embargo on Zimbabwe

By Shingirai Vambe

Harare- Council of the European Union (EU) has today adopted conclusions on Zimbabwe as a result of expected reforms and political dialogue within the Zimbabwean Government not taking shape.

In a press release that was made today, the EU stated that they are ready to review the whole range of its policies at any time, when justified based on developments in Zimbabwe.

“Taking to account the situation in Zimbabwe, including the yet to be investigated alleged role of armed and security forces in human rights abuses, the council today agreed to renew its arms embargo and targeted assets freeze against one company, Zimbabwe Defence Industries, for one year until 20 February 2021”.

The EU looks forward to continued support for economic and political reforms which the President, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa promised since his inauguration in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

The EU is of the opinion that there are no changes in the Zimbabwean situation, hence the renewal of sanctions, while the existing restrictive measures against four individuals were suspended.

The EU set out a framework for engagement in the National Indicative Program for Zimbabwe 2014-2020, focusing on three sectors: health, agriculture-based economic development, and governance as well as institution-building, but the situation in Zimbabwe shows no improvement with high rate of unemployment and inflation.

The renewal of the Zimbabwe Defence Industries sanction came up following gross violation of human rights from the security sector, on August 1 2018 and reported and recorded abductions and gatherings by members of the Movements for Democratic Change (MDC) which saw a number of people being beaten,tear gassed and arrested.

“Restrictive measures against individuals and companies in Zimbabwe were initially introduced in February 2002, when the council expressed grave concern at the situation in Zimbabwe in particular with regards to serious human rights violations by the country’s government at the time,” EU said.