[QODLink]
Africa

US rejects call to lift Zimbabwe sanctions

The 15-nation Southern African Development Community called on Western nations to lift sanctions on Mugabe government.

Last Modified: 19 Aug 2013 23:26
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Robert Mugabe could be sworn in as president as early as this week [Reuters]

The United States believes Zimbabwe's recent election was flawed and it doesn't plan to loosen sanctions against President Robert Mugabe's government, the State Department said on Monday, despite a call to scrap the sanctions from Southern African leaders.

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, is set to be sworn in as president as early as this week, extending his 33-year rule of the country after winning the July 31 election.

A change in US sanctions policy will occur only in the context of credible, transparent and peaceful reforms that reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people

Jen Psake, US State Dept. Spokeswoman

The 15-nation Southern African Development Community, which helped broker a power-sharing deal after disputed elections in Zimbabwe in 2008, backed Mugabe's re-election on Sunday.

Western nations, prevented by Mugabe from sending observers, have condemned the vote for irregularities in voters' lists and in election procedures. Independent local observers also complained of irregularities.

"The United States stands by our assessment that these elections, while relatively peaceful, did not represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people due to serious flaws throughout the electoral process," said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

"We have made clear to the government of Zimbabwe and the region that a change in US sanctions policy will occur only in the context of credible, transparent and peaceful reforms that reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people."

The US, Britain, and the European Union have imposed sanctions against Mugabe and senior leaders of his ZANU-PF party for human rights violations and suspected rigging of previous elections

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, on Friday dropped its court challenge to Mugabe's landslide win, saying it doubted it would get a fair hearing. 

The United States imposed sanctions on Mugabe in 2003. The sanctions, which ban more than 250 Zimbabwean individuals and companies from doing business with the United States, were extended in 2009.

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since it gained independence from Britain in 1980 and is Africa's oldest leader.

Psaki said it was "feasible" the US could review sanctions toward Zimbabwe if conditions in the country improved, but for now they would remain.

358

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
join our mailing list