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The countries of European Union are weary of the Zimbabwe issue. Every time and again, the issue overshadows all other initiatives and relations with the African countries. Even the strongest critics of Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the Nordic countries, realise there is not much they can do to change the situation.
The EU moral grand-standing and the insistence on human rights and the rule of law has successfully been portrayed by the Zimbabwe government as an attack on African national sovereignty. This guaranteed crucial African support for Mugabe and rendered EU policy counter-productive.

EU sanctions specifically target President Mugabe and his close associates. The EU hoped that this would make the Zimbabwe governing elite realise that it would be less costly to ensure that President Mugabe would step down than to continue to support him. Indeed, EU countries thought Mugabe's retirement was imminent. They misread the situation and underestimated Mugabe's resolve. It did not happen. Still, sticking to the rules, the EU can see no plausible reason in Zimbabwe to suspend the sanctions.
So sanctions will stay in place - at least until Mugabe makes way, probably on his own time and conditions, for a successor with a less confrontational policy.


Council renews targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe
Council of the European Union, 2005-02-22

More publications on the EU - Zimbabwe relations


February 22, 2005
EU Renews Sanctions On Mugabe - / The Daily News

February 21, 2005
Europe renews Zimbabwe sanctions - BBC News

January 28, 2005
EU Hunts for Mugabe Treasures - / Zimbabwe Independent

December 17, 2004
EU to Review Mugabe Sanctions - / Zimbabwe Independent

February 23, 2004
Zimbabwe sanctions extended by EU - BBC News