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5th Feb 2023

EU tightens sanctions on Zimbabwe

  • Zimbabwe is currently in the grip of a humanitarian crisis (Photo: The Mint Julep)

EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday (26 January) toughened up sanctions against President Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe, for the first time including EU-based companies that have dealings with the Harare government.

Twenty-seven people and 36 companies were added to the list that now includes over 240 entries and is part of an attempt by the EU to make Mr Mugabe share power with opposition forces.

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The list includes those "actively associated with the violence or human rights infringements of the regime," the EU said in a statement.

Of the 36 companies added, 18 are based in the UK.

Individuals included on the lists may not travel to the 27-nation European Union, their assets are frozen and blacklisted companies are not permitted to do business in the bloc.

The EU-based companies on the list are also to have their assets frozen.

"We have been absolutely determined that the European Union apply additional pressure, and that is what we are extending. The important point is that we are determined not to forget about the plight of the Zimbabwean people, which is real and getting worse day by day," said UK foreign minister David Miliband, according to the Times.

EU foreign ministers also put pressure on Mr Mugabe by pushing for the Kimberley Process, an international mechanism to ensure the trade in diamonds does not fund violence, to investigate the country's diamond trade.

The EU introduced sanctions against Mr Mugabe's government in 2002 in protest at human rights abuses. Zimbabwe is currently in the middle of a humanitarian crisis and over 2,000 people have died in a cholera epidemic.

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