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A Plea to Halt Sanctions Against Zimbabwe

A U.N. special rapporteur has called on the U.S. and other Western governments to lift sanctions they imposed on Zimbabwe nearly two decades ago for alleged election rigging and human rights abuses. Alena Douhan says the sanctions are exacerbating corruption in Zimbabwe as banks, companies and individuals banned from trading abroad simply bribe others to conduct their business for them. The European Union imposed travel and financial sanction on allies of then-Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe in 2002, in response to alleged election rigging and human rights abuses by his party and government. The U.S. followed suit with sanctions in 2003. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government says the sanctions must be lifted, arguing they are derailing the country’s efforts to climb out of a long economic slump. Earlier this week in separate statements, the United States, Britain, and the European Union said Zimbabwe’s economy was suffering not because of sanctions, but because of corruption and government mismanagement of the country’s resources.