- President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has today strongly condemned the “illegal” sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union (EU) against his country, telling the General Assembly that they are especially harmful in the midst of the current global economic crisis.
Countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) “have made huge sacrifices and given Zimbabwe financial and other support at a time when they, too, are reeling from the effects of the global economic crisis,” Mr Mugabe told the Assembly’s annual high-level debate.
But “regrettably” and “to our surprise, and that of SADC and the rest of Africa,” the US and the EU have refused to remove their “illegal” sanctions, he stressed.
Mr Mugabe also accused some of these nations of “working strenuously to divide the parties in the Inclusive Government.”
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in earlier this year as Prime Minister in a unity government with Mr Mugabe, following months of political tensions after disputed presidential elections in March last year.
“If they will not assist the Inclusive Government in rehabilitating our economy, could they please stop their filthy clandestine divisive antics?” Mr Mugabe asked. “Where stand their humanitarian principles when their illegal actions are ruining the lives of our children?”
The UN’s humanitarian arm warned last month that the situation in Zimbabwe remains acute, with not enough food to feed all 12.5 million inhabitants and funding requirements to provide urgently-needed aid only half met.
Even with commercial imports, there will be a 180,000-ton cereal deficit for 2009-2010, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
According to a recent assessment by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and the Zimbabwean Government, only 1.4 million tons of cereal will be available domestically, compared to the more than 2 million needed.
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