EU lifts sanctions on Zimbabwe officials not Mugabe

Harare, Feb 20: The European Union confirmed Wednesday the suspension of restrictive measures on Zimbabwe’s eight senior military and government officials, but kept them on the country’s President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe.

The director for Horn of Africa, East and Southern Africa, Indian Ocean at the European External Action Service (EEAS) Koen Vervaeke announced the decision at a press conference in Harare, Xinhua reported.

The EU decision had been taken in view of progress made by Zimbabwe in implementing democratic reforms, he said. “This reflects not only the progress that has been made but also the challenges that remain. The EU has taken these steps to support the Zimbabwean people to achieve a more prosperous and democratic future.”

The EU has been reviewing the sanctions annually since it introducing them in 2002 alleging human rights violations by Mugabe’s government.

The latest move leaves only two people out of the original 192 people and one economic entity out of the initial 87 on the sanctions list. The EU also maintains an arms embargo on the southern African country.