PositionBrief Article

Zimbabwe.On January 28, the Ministers decided to impose a range of sanctions which they would apply if it was clear the regime of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was blocking a free and fair electoral process - including an EU electoral observation mission (see European Report 2655;507). Under Article 96 of the EU-African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Cotonou Agreement, the EU has the right to suspend development aid co-operation when human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law are clearly not being respected in recipient countries. The 'smart' sanctions already agreed are directed at Zimbabwe's top 20 politicians. They include a travel ban on key decision-makers (including President Mugabe and his family); an overseas asset freeze; and a ban on the export from the EU to Zimbabwe of arms and dual-use equipment that could be used for internal repression.The run-up to the election has turned increasingly violent, with at least 19 people killed in politically-motivated attacks since December 24. Zimbabwe has already agreed to accredit 30 European Union observers to the hotly-contested March 9-10 Presidential polls, but none from six countries President Mugabe accuses of backing the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). It was still unclear whether Zimbabwe would accredit the remainder of a planned EU team if any of its members are from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands or Sweden. Pierre Schori of Sweden, the head of the 150-strong EU observer team, has not sought accreditation to observe the elections, but is expected to carry on with his work. He has said he thinks it would still be possible to monitor next month's Presidential election effectively, in spite of the difficulties. But 30 observers, from Austria, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain, are ready to be deployed in the country as planned. Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge had said only nationals from nine of the 15 EU Member States would be accepted "in their individual national capacities".Bosnian police.The Ministers are scheduled to take a decision in principle on the International Police Task Force (IPTF) in Bosnia, which the EU is due to take over from the United Nations, whose mandate expires at the end of 2002. The plan is for this to be the first field test of the EU's developing civil crisis intervention capacity, and of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). However, there are still question marks about the...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT