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Remove Zimbabwe sanctions: Thabane

MAPUTO
— Prime Minister Tom Thabane has called for the unconditional removal of
sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the European Union and the United States.
Addressing
the 32nd Ordinary Summit of Southern African Development Community
(Sadc) Heads of State and Government Summit in Maputo, Mozambique on Friday,
Thabane said the region was united in calling for the removal of the sanctions.

“Despite
limited relaxation of sanctions by countries of the European Union on Zimbabwe,
we must continue to call for the lifting of all sanctions against Zimbabwe,” he
said.
Thabane
said the region has always stood together to prevent externally imposed
solutions to regional problems and should continue to do so in Zimbabwe. “Our
region has consistently stood together to reject external solutions that seek
to undermine the hard-earned political and economic independence of Zimbabwe,”
he said.
The
sanctions were imposed more than a decade ago over allegations of electoral
fraud and human rights abuses.

President
Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party insist Britain pushed the imposition of the
sanctions to punish Zimbabwe for its land reform programme.

The
Zimbabwean leader also blames the sanctions for the country’s economic
problems.

Both
the EU and the US as well as countries such as Australia and New Zealand have
indicated they are prepared to remove the sanctions on condition the country
organises free and fair elections.
Zimbabwe is expected to
hold fresh elections next year to replace the coalition government which has
been in office since 2009. — newzimbabwe.com

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