Zimbabwe could face more sanctions unless reforms: US

April 9th, 2009 - 2:38 am ICT by IANS  

Harare, April 9 (DPA) The US ambassador to Zimbabwe Wednesday warned of new sanctions against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and senior members of his party unless they show willingness to reform.
In an interview with journalists in Harare, ambassador James McGee said current US sanctions against Mugabe and senior members of his party would remain in place “until we see some positive movement”.

He was referring to the widely-held belief that Mugabe’s Zanu-PF is trying to stall attempts by the new unity government, of which longtime opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is prime minister, to effect democratic reforms.

“In fact you might see more individual sanctions,” McGee warned.

The US and European Union first imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2003.

Mugabe has blamed his country’s economic downfall on the sanctions. Over half the population requires food aid.

The US and EU point out that the sanctions specifically target people and companies linked to the elderly leader and blame his misrule for the country’s demise.

The new government is looking for $2 billion in short-term aid. Western donors have cited the ongoing invasions of white-owned land and detention of political prisoners are deterrents.

McGee said the US was debating an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, which said Zimbabwe needed 200 million dollars in emergency humanitarian relief.

“We want to get on board to assist Zimbabwe with that. We will not let the people of Zimbabwe starve,” he assured.

He was also upbeat about some positive signs recently on the economic front.

“We no longer see the uncontrolled printing of money. Inflation which had been running in quintillions of percentage points last month was negative 2.5 percent. This is movement in the right direction,” he said.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |