EU to urge diamond sales probe to press Zimbabwe's Mugabe

EU will next Monday step up pressure on Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to share power by urging a probe into whether diamond sales are being used to support his government, a draft showed.

EU to urge diamond sales probe to press Zimbabwe's Mugabe

The European Union will next Monday step up pressure on Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to share power by urging a probe into whether diamond sales are being used to support his government, a draft showed.

The bloc's foreign ministers, who meet in Brussels on Jan. 26, will also add names to a list of Zimbabwean officials banned from travelling in the EU because of their links to alleged human rights abuses, a draft EU paper obtained by Reuters showed.

"The (EU) Council supports action to investigate the exploitation of diamonds from the site of Marange/Chiadzwa and their significance in possible financial support to the regime and recent human rights abuses," the document, which will be presented to EU ministers, said.

The draft urges the Kimberley Process -- an international certification scheme set up to ensure diamonds do not fund conflict -- "to take action with a view to ensure Zimbabwe's compliance with its Kimberley obligations".

Despite growing international pressure on him to step down, power-sharing talks between Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai remain deadlocked in a dispute over cabinet posts.

"The (EU) Council condemns the regime for its ongoing failure to address the most basic economic and social needs of its people ... The Council urges stakeholders to comply with the power sharing agreement," the EU draft said.

The EU only last December added 11 names to a list of some 160 officials, including Mugabe himself, banned from entering the bloc. The EU draft did not say how many more would be added.

Reuters
Last Mod: 22 Ocak 2009, 16:05
Add Comment