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For your attention
by threehegemons
20 February 2002 03:01 UTC
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Steven Sherman spotted this on the Guardian Unlimited site and thought you 
should see it.

Note from Steven Sherman:

And meanwhile--the EU actually takes steps to exert power in a situation 
ignored by the US.  For better or worse, expect more.

To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go to 

Zimbabwe defiant over EU sanctions
Staff and agencies
Tuesday February 19 2002
The Guardian

Zimbabwe today reacted angrily to sanctions imposed by Europe and vowed to 
defend vigorously its independence in the face of mounting hostilities with the 
outside world.

The country's information minister, Jonathan Moyo, said: "There is no price 
that is going to be [too] high in defending our independence.

"They said they were going to do it and they have done it. We said as Africans 
who fought for our liberation against some of these European countries, we 
would defend our independence and sovereignty and that's what we are going to 

He told the state-owned Herald newspaper: "There is no amount of hostile action 
through sanctions or otherwise that will make us move from our principle to 
defend our independence.

"We will never allow a situation where our sovereign rights are hijacked under 
the guise of elections observation."

His comments followed a decision taken yesterday by EU foreign ministers to 
impose "targeted sanctions" against President Robert Mugabe and his ministers.

EU ministers said the 15-nation bloc was seriously concerned about political 
violence, human rights abuses and restrictions on the media that call into 
question the prospects for free and fair presidential elections that are 
scheduled for next month.

The sanctions include cutting off 128m euros ($110m) in development aid for the 
2002-2007 period, a ban on travel to the EU for Mr Mugabe and 20 of his Cabinet 
ministers and freezing their assets in Europe.

The EU said it would also pull out 30 European election observers already in 

Zimbabwe has been wracked by political violence for the past two years in a 
campaign of intimidation that opposition supporters, human rights activists and 
many international officials blame on Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party.     

Mr Mugabe, 77, who has ruled Zimbabwe since it won independence from Britain, 
is fighting to maintain his 22-year grip in power. As his popularity has waned, 
he has imposed curbs on journalists and opposition parties and many of his 
critics have been attacked or threatened with prosecution. 

Earlier this month, he banned election observers from Britain, its former 
colonial ruler, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, accusing 
them of bias in favour of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. 

Mr Moyo said, however, that the government would welcome observers from Africa.

"We are happy the world is larger than Europe and that we in Africa would like 
to be judged by Africans who share the same values with us," he said.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

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