US continues with Zim sanctions until unity government in place

us_parliament.jpgThe United States government said it will not lift its development aid sanctions on Zimbabwe until President Robert Mugabe has shown true power sharing deal with country's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, the US State department said.

The US rejection followed the African Union Summit call in Ethiopia
this week for Western nations to lift development aid sanctions on the
impoverished Southern African state.

According to a statement issued by State Department late yesterday, the
US will only consider new development assistance and easing of targeted
sanctions when there is clear evidence of power-sharing as well as
inclusive and effective governance. However, the US said it will
continue to provide humanitarian assistance.

President Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai agreed to form a
coalition government last month, a step aimed at ending the country’s
political impasse, almost five months after signing the power sharing
agreement in September last year.

"The success or failure of such a government will depend on credible
and inclusive power sharing by Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party,"
the department said, urging the Southern African Development Community
to fulfill its obligation to guarantee a genuine unity government.

President Mugabe cemented his 28 year rule last June when Mr Tsvangirai
dropped out the run off election trail, blaming ruling ZANU PF for
violence against his supporters.

Talks in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare aimed at choosing a cabinet failed
to start yesterday after President Mugabe traveled to Ethiopia for an
African Union summit.

If Zimbabwe is to form the new government before 13 February as ordered
by SADC, it will have to deal with the collapsed economy, which has
been dragging for decade since President Mugabe introduced land report
programme. It also has to tackle the collapsed health system and
cholera outbreak which has killed over 3, 000 people and with more than
60, 000 infected.

The country has a record inflation of 231 million percent, though other
economists argue it is way beyond what the government claim it to be.

The United Nations also estimates that at least 6.9 million people, more than half the population, need emergency food aid.

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