Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wed, 23 Jul 2008 10:30:00 +0000
ANGOLA yesterday urged the European Union to lift all sanctions against Zimbabwe because they pose an obstacle to negotiations aimed at ending that nation's political and economic crisis.
“There is no reason to justify the maintenance of these sanctions,” Foreign Minister João Bernardo Miranda was quoted by Bloomberg in an interview yesterday on state-run Angolan National Radio. “The EU should very soon lift all sanctions against the leaders of Zimbabwe.”
The E.U. announced yesterday it will add 37 people linked to President Robert Mugabe's ruling party to its list of 131 people who are targeted with sanctions. The measures, including asset freezes and travel bans, came a day after President Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai signed an agreement to begin crucial talks to end the crisis in the country.
Talks between Mugabe's ruling party and Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change should be supported by the international community, Miranda said.
“This dialogue is for real, therefore it is practical that the international community to help to establish a new political order in Zimbabwe.”
President Mugabe won the June 27 presidential runoff election which Tsvangirai withthdrew from, alleging a state-sponsored campaign of violence against his supporters.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has given mixed signals in his reaction to the signing of the MoU in Zimbabwe.
Speaking on Monday after a meeting with Kenyan President Raila Odinga, Brown said: “The signing of an agreement this week between Zimbabwe's leaders is a welcome step forward, and I applaud those who worked to deliver it,” adding that “it must be matched by an end to violence against the MDC, and full humanitarian access for NGO's.”
However, Brown also said that, ”Any transitional government must represent the will of the people, as demonstrated so clearly at the end of March.”
He also justified the imposition of further sanctions on the government of President Mugabe saying, “In the meantime, we will continue to take action against those responsible for the violence, as the E.U. did yesterday (Tuesday 22 July, 2008) in expanding sanctions” against the government of Zimbabwe.