Monday, January 26, 2009

EU tightens Zimbabwe sanctions

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FACTBOX-Sanctions on Zimbabwe
Mon Jan 26, 2009
The European Union added individuals and firms to a sanctions list on Zimbabwe on Monday and called for a probe into Harare's diamond industry.Below are details of sanctions and restrictions in place against Zimbabwe.
* VISA BANS AND ASSET FREEZES:-- The United States first imposed sanctions in March 2003 and later widened them to apply to about 250 people accused of undermining democracy. The U.S. sanctions also bar Americans from engaging in any transactions or dealings with them. -- In July, the Treasury Department said it would seek to freeze assets of 17 Zimbabwean enterprises. The United States also threatened in September to impose new sanctions against President Robert Mugabe if he reneged on a power-sharing deal.-- The European Union imposed a visa ban on Mugabe and 19 top officials in 2002 because of Zimbabwe's treatment of observers sent to monitor presidential elections.-- The number was later expanded and last month, the EU added 11 more names to the list of 160 Zimbabweans, including Mugabe, who are banned from visiting the bloc.-- On Monday, the EU added a further 27 individuals and 36 companies to the list of banned allies of Mugabe because of their links to suspected human rights abuses, EU officials said.-- The sanctions list now includes for the first time companies registered in the EU, including in Britain, diplomats have said, without naming the firms.-- Australia said in December it would impose financial and visa restrictions on four extra companies and 75 more people who are known supporters of Mugabe's government. The move means 258 Mugabe supporters face bans on travel to or through Australia, and restrictions on financial transactions involving Australia.
* ARMS EMBARGOES:-- The United States has a ban on transfers of defence items and services, and a suspension of non-humanitarian government-to-government assistance.-- The European Union has an embargo on the sale and supply of arms and technical advice and of equipment which could be used for internal repression in Zimbabwe.-- The embargo also prohibits technical and financial assistance related to military activities.-- In September, Canada banned arms exports, freezing the assets of top Zimbabwean officials and banning its aircraft from flying over or landing in Canada.
* DIPLOMATIC ISOLATION:-- The Commonwealth group of mainly former British colonies suspended Zimbabwe in early 2002 on the grounds that Mugabe had rigged his re-election and persecuted his opponents. Zimbabwe formally withdrew from the 54-nation group in 2003 after the suspension was extended indefinitely.-- The International Monetary Fund suspended technical assistance to Zimbabwe in 2002 over its failure to clear arrears and address its dire economic and social crisis.-- It has averted expulsion by making small payments towards clearing arrears.-- Britain's Queen Elizabeth has stripped Mugabe of an honorary knighthood awarded in 1994.
* SPORT:-- A 2007 cricket tour of Zimbabwe by Australia was cancelled on the orders of Australia's government.-- Cricket South Africa, which had been one of Zimbabwe's strongest backers, suspended domestic agreements with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union last June.-- Days later, the England and Wales Cricket Board cancelled Zimbabwe's 2009 tour of England under instructions from the British government. The ECB said it had suspended all bilateral arrangements with Zimbabwe Cricket.-- The International Cricket Council said on July 4 that Zimbabwe had agreed to skip the 2009 World Twenty20 in England to end a deadlock over demands that the African nation be suspended.
Sources: Reuters/EU//

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