Monday, September 28, 2009

(TALKZIMBABWE) Zuma: Sanctions have not worked

Zuma: Sanctions have not worked
27/09/2009 00:00:00

SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma says his country’s diplomacy in Zimbabwe has had more success than the sanctions-driven response by western countries to alleged human rights abuses by President Robert Mugabe’s government.

Zuma also rejected suggestions by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) “has failed to criticise, condemn and insist that President Mugabe imposes and implements the power-sharing agreement” with his opposition rivals.

“What are you all afraid of? Are you still afraid of really trying to implement the law in Zimbabwe?,” Amanpour quizzed Zuma in an interview broadcast on Friday night.

Zuma shot back: “No, we're never afraid. We're never afraid.”
The South African President said his country had been pressured by western countries to “have nothing to do with Zimbabwe”, but his country had deliberately chosen engagement with the Zimbabwe parties.

“It has succeeded. The reason that you can talk about the agreement in Zimbabwe today is because of what we negotiated,” Zuma said. “I think we should accept the fact that, at the beginning of the problem in Zimbabwe, countries and perhaps organisations took different positions.

“Our position was not to stand up and criticise Zimbabwe. It was to engage the Zimbabweans. We engaged.

“You have sanctions. You can't tell me, ‘This is what the sanctions did, and this was the results of the sanctions.’

“… they (western countries) were saying have nothing do with Zimbabwe. Our having something to do with Zimbabwe has produced an agreement, which we are now implementing, and we are saying, ‘Give that process an opportunity.’ That is why we are saying to those who have applied sanctions, ‘Lift the sanctions so that Zimbabwe has a free range to implement the decision that it has taken.’”

The power-sharing government was formed in February after disputed elections last year, but the pact between Mugabe and rivals Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has been beset with problems as the parties accuse each other of failing to fully implement the deal.

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