UN envoy urges lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe

UN envoy urges lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe

 
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures, Alena Douhan, has called for the lifting of unilateral Western sanctions against Zimbabwe and called for dialogue among key stakeholders.

 
Douhan said at the conclusion of her 10-day visit to Zimbabwe to assess the impact of the sanctions.

 
The UN envoy is scheduled to address a press conference in Harare  and later submit a public report to the United Nations Human Rights Council in September 2022.

 
She visited Zimbabwe at the invitation of the Zimbabwean government and during the visit, she held meetings with State officials, members of civil society, trade unions, faith-based organizations, political parties, private companies and business associations, diplomatic corps and other stakeholders.

 
“The time is ripe for sanctioning states and key national stakeholders to engage in a meaningful structured dialogue on political reform, human rights and the rule of law, and abandon rhetoric on sanctions as an advocacy tool,” Douhan said.

 
Effect of sanctions
 
She noted that the unilateral sanctions and over-compliance with sanctions in their complexity had exacerbated pre-existing social and economic challenges with devastating consequences for the people of Zimbabwe, especially the marginalized and vulnerable groups.

 
Douhan said over the last 20 years, sanctions and various forms of over-compliance with sanctions have had a ripple effect on the economy of Zimbabwe and on fundamental human rights, including access to health, food, portable water, sanitation, education and employment.

 
“This situation also limits Zimbabwe’s ability to guarantee the functioning of public institutions, delivery of services and maintenance of essential infrastructure and undermines the right to development of the Zimbabwean people and impedes the achievement of the sustainable development goals,” Douhan said.

 
She observed that many companies, as well as foreign banks, applied zero-risk policies and were overly compliant fearing heavy penalties for breaching the sanctions.

 
According to her , “ this  had resulted in inefficient high-cost bank transactions, serious challenges in accessing credit lines and major disruptions in supply-chains, which impinge the ability to secure infrastructure financing and business continuity”.

 
Marking the SADC Anti-Sanctions Day on Monday, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the sanctions, which were imposed by the European Union, the United States and lately the United Kingdom after it left the EU, had contributed to a decline in the country’s socio-economic landscape.

 
In his words, “While we welcome the gradual lifting of sanctions by the European Union, we reiterate our call for the immediate removal of all restrictions in their entirety”.

 
CGTN/Olajumoke/Qasim
UN envoy urges lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe

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