Linda Thomas-Greenfield roasts Zimbabwe: blame bad leadership for country’s woes, not U.S. sanctions

Thomas-Greenfield was addressing reporters from Libreville, the capital of Gabon, where she was wrapping up a three-nation mission with the UN Security Council team.

The United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Friday berated the political leadership in Zimbabwe for being responsible for the country’s economic woes and poverty, and not U.S. sanctions.

Thomas-Greenfield was addressing reporters from Libreville, the capital of Gabon, where she was wrapping up a three-nation mission to Africa with a UN Security Council team.

Asked by a reporter whether she agreed with a statement by a UN special rapporteur that the United States should remove its targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe to allow economic recovery in the southern African nation, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield pushed back, asserting that the U.S. sanctions are not targeting ordinary people in Zimbabwe but specific individuals abusing human rights abuses.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield 
Linda Thomas-Greenfield

“Our sanctions target individuals and institutions that are committing human rights violations, and we make every effort to ensure that those sanctions do not impact the people,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “What is happening in Zimbabwe is the result of bad policies in Zimbabwe. What is happening in Zimbabwe is the consequence of their leadership; it is not a consequence of our sanctions.”

She added, “And we will always resist any criticism of us that says our sanctions are impacting people unfairly. And you certainly will see that we will be criticized for this.

“We’re criticized for it by the government because they know that they are responsible for these actions, and I regret that the special rapporteur made the decision to put this in his report.”

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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