BAD NEWS: EU deals blow to President ED Mnangagwa’s re-engagement efforts

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

European Union renews sanctions on Zimbabwe, dealing blow to Mnangagwa’s re-engagement efforts

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has suffered a major setback in its re-engagement efforts as the European Union (EU) extended its restrictions on Zimbabwe. In a statement issued by the EU council, it was announced that sanctions would remain in place until February 20, 2025.

While the EU removed individual targeted sanctions on key figures such as Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, Grace Mugabe (the late former President Robert Mugabe’s widow), and Zimbabwe Defence Forces boss General Valerio Sibanda last year, the restrictive measures on the country itself have been renewed.

The sanctions primarily consist of an arms embargo and targeted asset freeze on Zimbabwe Defence Industries. The EU emphasized that it would closely monitor the human rights situation in the country to determine the future of the sanctions.

“The EU will continue to closely follow developments in Zimbabwe, with particular attention to the human rights situation and recalls its readiness to adapt the whole range of its policies accordingly,” the statement read.

The EU’s sanctions were initially imposed in 2002 in response to electoral fraud and human rights violations. Over the years, the measures have been gradually eased to encourage political reform. However, relations between Zimbabwe and the European bloc have deteriorated significantly following the country’s general elections last year, which drew criticism from regional and international bodies, including the EU, for falling short of expected standards.

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