Zimbabwe sanctions to remain in place , says U . S . official

Posted: 05/03/2011 in GNU, Human Rights, Mugabe, police brutality, Revolution, Sanctions, Torture, Treason Charges, Tsvangirai, U. S, Unemployment, United States, Violence, Washington, ZIDERA

Harare , Zimbabwe (CNN) — Washington has
ruled out lifting sanctions on Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle
until the regime shows a greater respect for
human rights, said a U . S . official visiting the
southern African nation Friday .
Susan Page, the deputy assistant secretary for
African affairs , said the United States was
concerned by the recent rise in ” political
violence , wanton intimidation of the public , and
partisan arrests and prosecutions . “
She applauded Mugabe ‘s statement last week
calling for an end to the violence but questioned
whether that message was filtering down to his
security forces.
” We hope President Mugabe, as head of state
and commander in chief of the armed forces,
also conveys that message to the police and
security services, ” Page said. ” The credibility of
that statement , however , ultimately will be
reflected in if or how it is honoured . “
Page said if Mugabe’ s party wants to play a
constructive role, ” it must reject the use of
violence and fear in its operations. “
Mugabe ‘s critics accuse the longtime ruler of
using violent means to hush his political
opponents, who are part of a unity government
that Mugabe wants ended .
In recent days , police in Zimbabwe have
arrested dozens of political activists, students
and trade union members for allegedly plotting
an Egyptian-style uprising . Defense attorneys
have reported torture of the detainees .
U . S . State Department Spokesman P . J . Crowley
said the activists were charged with treason and
urged Mugabe’ s government to uphold
international human rights laws and ensure due
process for those arrested.
The United States and the European Union
imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe in 2002.
Mugabe blames those sanctions for his
country ‘ s woes — which late last year included a
90 % unemployment and an inflation rate of
231, 000,000% – – and threatened to seize all
Western -owned investments in the country
unless sanctions were lifted .
Mugabe has held power since Zimbabwe
became independent in 1980 . In 2009 , he
formed a coalition government with challenger
Morgan Tsvangirai, who was named prime
minister .
But last December , Mugabe announced he was
tired of working with the opposition party ,
which he said ” lacked ideology and policies ” and
called for an election this year .
Tsvangirai , however , has threatened to boycott
the poll if a referendum on a new constitution is
not held .

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 4 , 2011 — Updated 1855 GMT ( 0255
HKT )
CNN.com

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