EU threatens Mugabe with new sanctions

October 13th, 2008 - 8:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Luxembourg, Oct 13 (DPA) The European Union (EU) Monday threatened to impose new sanctions on Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his allies unless a power-sharing deal with pro-democracy leader Morgan Tsvangirai is promptly implemented.EU foreign ministers issued the warning during a meeting in Luxembourg.

“The Council stands ready to consider additional measures in case of continued deadlock in the implementation of the Sep 15 agreement,” ministers said in a joint statement.

Mugabe is threatening to scupper the deal by retaining control of key ministries responsible for the army, police and secret police.

The president was accused of using such forces to intimidate opposition supporters in the run up to the March presidential election.

Tsvangirai said Sunday that the power-sharing agreement would be “stillborn” if Mugabe failed to hand the home-affairs ministry over to his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

EU governments had been set to toughen their sanctions Sep 15, but postponed their decision after the signing on the same day of the power-sharing deal.

Current EU sanctions include a ban on pro-Mugabe officials entering the EU and the severing of ties with businesses linked to the 84-year-old president.

British Foreign Minister David Miliband had said at his arrival in Luxembourg that Europe should send out a strong signal indicating that it would “play no part in supporting a power grab by the Mugabe regime”.

“It is important (that) there is an international united response that says that the results of the elections need to be respected, and a power grab will not be respected,” Miliband said.

EU foreign ministers also reiterated their concern at the “deteriorating humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe” and noted that the European Commission was providing an additional 10 million euros ($13.6 million) in aid to the country.

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