EU ministers set to broaden Zimbabwe sanctions

BRUSSELS – EU foreign ministers are set to beef up sanctions against Zimbabwe next week, frustrated by the lack of political progress there, European diplomats said Thursday.

The 27 foreign ministers are set to add another 10 names to their list of Zimbabwean figures banned from entering the European Union, when they meet in Brussels on Monday, one of the diplomats said.

The EU already widened its sanctions against the regime of President Robert Mugabe and other figures in July, adding 37 names to the list of individuals subject to a visa ban and whose assets have been frozen, and four companies.

Those were in addition to 131 Zimbabweans already on the banned list.

European leaders are set to take the action because they deem that talks on power-sharing between Mugabe and opposition head Morgan Tsvangirai have not made sufficient progress.

When they toughened up the sanctions in July, the European foreign ministers stressed that they would take further measures if there was no progress in the political talks, the EU diplomat said. "It’s a progressive approach".

He gave no details as to the type of person who would be added to the sanctions list.

Tsvangirai and Mugabe signed an accord on July 21 to begin talks on sharing power after a lengthy election dispute.

Mugabe was re-elected in a run-off poll in June after Tsvangirai pulled out, citing a campaign of intimidation and violence against his supporters that had killed dozens and injured thousands.

Tsvangirai’s supporters claimed their man had won the first round presidency vote outright, and that a second round vote should not even be required.