SADC calls for lifting Zimbabwe sanctions as country faces further unrest

Zambian president, John Magafuli.

JOHANNESBURG, August 19 (ANA) – Despite Zimbabwe protesters being subjected to increasing police brutality, and cancelling protests to avoid further bloodshed, 16 African countries from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have called for the US and EU to immediately lift the economic sanctions imposed on the country.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who is the SADC chairman, told participants at the recent SADC summit that the sanctions, which had been imposed in 2002 when Robert Mugabe was president, were hurting the region, the Tanzanian Citizen reported.

According to Magufuli, removing the sanctions - which Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa asserts have crippled the development of the country with high inflation and shortages of basic supplies - would help to attract Western investors after nearly two decades of economic sanctions.

These sanctions were extended in March by US President Donald Trump’s administration for another year after the president said they would not be removed until there was political reform.

Some 141 entities and top officials in Zimbabwe from the governing Zanu-PF party and the military are on the US sanctions list while the EU has an arms embargo as well as sanctions on Mugabe, his wife Grace and Zimbabwe Defence Industries.

SADC will officially voice its disapproval of the sanctions through various platforms on October 25, Dr Stergomena Tax, the body's executive secretary, has announced.

-African News Agency

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