- The US President, Barrack Obama, has extended Zimbabwe’s sanctions for at least a year saying the newly formed unity government undermines democracy and rule of law. The announcement comes amid Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s call to western nations to lift sanctions on the impoverished Southern African state.
According to a statement from the White House, President Obama said the new Zimbabwe administration has not dealt with the worsening human rights violations stating that the democratic and political crisis remained unresolved.
The US government imposed sanctions in 2003 on Zimbabwe, also restricting more than 200 indviduals and companies from doing business with the US. The US further imposed sanctions on government, freezing of government assets in 2005 and last year.
The European Union has also decided to maintain sanctions against Zimbabwe until the full terms of the power-sharing deal between President Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai are implemented.
Last month Mr Tsvangirai joined Mr Mugabe in a unity government and used his first address to parliament on Wednesday to urge the international community to take note of the power-sharing agreement and loosen sanctions.
President Mugabe who ruled Zimbabwe since it gained independence from Britain in 1980, has pushed Zimbabwe’s economy down the drain with his ambitious land reform programme in 2000, which saw his close allies forcibly seizing white farmers' land.
Mr Tsvangirai under the new administration said although government won't attempt to reverse the land reform programme, but his government will conduct a transparent, non-partisan land audit to eliminate the ownership of multiple farms.
Zimbabwe has the record high inflation estimated at 231 million percent, although other economists say it has long surpassed the mark. Zimbabwe is facing chronic food shortages, high unemployment rates, economic stagnation and an outbreak of cholera that has affected nearly 4,000 people.
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