AU renews call for “immediate, unconditional” lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe

AU renews call for “immediate, unconditional” lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe

By Xinhua

ADDIS ABABA: African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday called for the “immediate and unconditional” removal of all sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

Faki “once again renews the longstanding AU demand for the immediate and unconditional lifting of sanctions imposed against institutions and individuals of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” an AU statement issued Wednesday said.

The chairperson also expressed the AU’s “full support” of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s position on the issue.

In 2019, the regional bloc SADC declared Oct. 25 “Anti-Sanctions Day” for member states to stand in solidarity with Zimbabwe and collectively call for the unconditional lifting of the embargo.

Faki acknowledged subsequent engagement with the European Union (EU) through political dialogue as encouraging. He encouraged all parties to continue dialogue with a view to ending all remaining sanctions against Zimbabwe.

“The Chairperson, however, remains extremely concerned by the negative impact the sanctions continue to have on Zimbabwe’s socio-economic development amid the current global food and energy crises, including post Covid-19 recovery efforts,” the statement said.

The file photo, taken on Sept. 9, 2023, shows the buildings of the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Xinhua/Wang Guansen)

Faki reaffirmed the continued commitment of the pan-African bloc to support the brotherly nation of Zimbabwe in mobilizing efforts for the complete lifting of all remaining sanctions.

He further said the AU associates itself with the latest statement made by Joao Lourenco, president of Angola and current chairperson of the SADC, calling for the lifting of all sanctions against Zimbabwe.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Lourenco said the appeal by the SADC for the immediate lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe rests on the backdrop of growing concern over the impact these sanctions continue to pose on the country and the SADC region.

Zimbabwe has been reeling under unilateral sanctions from Western countries led by the United States. The sanctions were imposed in 2000 after Zimbabwe embarked on the land reform program during which the country re-possessed land from minority white farmers for redistribution to landless indigenous Zimbabweans.

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