U.S. sanctions on Zimbabwe to stay

AFP-JIJI

The United States is reviewing its sanctions on Zimbabwe but has not yet decided to follow the European Union in easing an assets freeze and travel visa ban, a top official said Monday.

Washington congratulated the Harare government for holding a “peaceful and credible constitutional referendum” earlier this month, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said.

However, the United States is still waiting to see if it can “serve as a precedent for upcoming presidential elections.”

The European Union on Monday lifted sanctions against 81 people and eight entities in Zimbabwe following the March referendum.

However, President Robert Mugabe and a handful of others remained on the EU blacklist, a European diplomat confirmed.

The United States began imposing targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2001, which include financial sanctions and travel bans on a list of firms and individuals, including Mugabe.