European Union renews Zimbabwe sanctions

Feb. 19, 2004 at 8:42 PM
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HARARE, Zimbabwe, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The European Union has renewed its sanctions against Zimbabwe in an effort to increase pressure on the government to improve human rights conditions.

EU justice ministers are adding another year to sanctions that were first imposed in 2002, the Voice of America reported Thursday.

The ministers decided unanimously to keep in place measures that ban nearly 100 Zimbabwean government officials from entering the European Union and freeze any assets they might hold in Europe.

The ministers also agreed to extend an embargo on shipments of military supplies to the beleaguered African country.

When the sanctions were first imposed, the EU cited the breakdown of law and order, human rights abuses and ballot fraud in Zimbabwe, after President Mugabe won a controversial re-election victory.

Zimbabwe has called the sanctions the result of a campaign by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who they say is angry at President Mugabe for redistributing white-owned farmland to "landless black peasants."

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