EU piles more sanctions on Zimbabwe regime
The European Union on Monday piled more sanctions on the regime of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, freezing the assets of officials and companies in a bid to break the regime's grip on power in the country.
The foreign ministers of the EU's 27 member states condemned Mugabe's regime for "its ongoing failure to address the most basic economic and social needs of its people" and "the ongoing violations of human rights," a joint statement issued in Brussels said.
As a concrete expression of that condemnation, the ministers extended an EU travel ban and asset freeze on around 60 people and companies allied to Mugabe, reported dpa.
The full list of names to be added to the ban is classified, but includes around 35 people and 25 companies, EU officials said.
Since 2004, the EU has levelled more and more sanctions at the Mugabe regime in a bid to force it to negotiate with pro-democracy opposition forces. Currently, some 170 regime members and allies feature on the sanction list, together with companies linked to them.
The ministers also expressed concern over the cholera outbreak ravaging the country, saying that it viewed the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe with "particular distress."
And they called for closer international cooperation to bring about democratic change in Zimbabwe and to crack down on the flow of illicitly-traded diamonds which provides Mugabe's regime with a financial lifeline.
The EU "calls on the Southern Africa Development Community, the African Union and states in the region to pave actively the way for a truly representative democratic government," the statement said.