African leaders to call on Westerners to end Zimbabwe sanctions

African leaders will step up calls on Monday for an end to Western sanctions against Zimbabwe.

African leaders to call on Westerners to end Zimbabwe sanctions

African leaders will step up calls on Monday for an end to Western sanctions against Zimbabwe and urge South Africa to plead Harare's cause within the Group of 20 rich and developing nations, officials said.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries would also press Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to end a row over a power-sharing pact that was holding up vital foreign aid, said the officials.

"We are convinced that if sanctions are lifted, Zimbabwe, within the framework of its current political agreement, will have the possibility to move towards development," said Congolese Foreign Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba.

"We will also ask South Africa, which is the only sub-Saharan African country that is a member of the G20, to plead for Zimbabwe's cause," said Mwamba, whose country is taking over the SADC chair and hosting the meeting in Kinshasa.

Zimbabwe has been hit by EU and U.S. sanctions including a travel ban.

Last month, South African President Jakob Zuma is called on the West to repeal the sanctions.

A recovery in Zimbabwe's battered economy is important for South Africa because millions have been driven to seek work in their much wealthier neighbour.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a power-sharing government in February as part of a SADC-backed deal to end a political crisis that followed disputed polls last year.

The agreement called for Tsvangirai to condemn the sanctions and call for them to be dropped, as SADC's 15 member countries have already pledged to do.


Reuters

Last Mod: 07 Eylül 2009, 12:15
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