Updated: February 28, 2021
President Donald Trump on Monday extended by one year sanctions against Zimbabwe, a Southern African nation that was almost brought to its knees during President Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule.
In extending the punishing sanctions imposed when Mugabe was in power, the Trump administration said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government’s policies still posed an “unusual and extraordinary” threat to U.S. foreign policy.
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It was not clear whether those threats also had to do with the lands taken by from the whites who snatched them from the blacks.
Officially, the U.S. imposed the sanctions because Mugabe reportedly rigged elections, abused citizens’ rights and oppressed political opponents.
But Mugabe had been forced out of office and the new President and government had been extending a hand of friendship to the Trump administration.
For now, there are 141 entities and individuals in Zimbabwe, including Mnangagwa and Mugabe, under U.S. sanctions.
Zimbabwe regretted the extension of the sanctions on Wednesday but said it would keep talking to Washington and the European Union to remove the measures.
The EU has also retained sanctions on Mugabe, his wife and arms supplier Zimbabwe Defence Industries as well as an arms embargo on Zimbabwe.
Reuters news agency reported that “the renewal comes despite calls by African leaders like South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, for the sanctions to be lifted to give the country a chance to recover from its economic crisis”.
It quoted foreign ministry secretary James Manzou as telling a committee of parliament that the sanctions were unwarranted.