Obama extends sanctions on Robert Mugabe and his henchmen

Washington – President Barack Obama has said he was prolonging US sanctions on Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's regime for a year, because the country's deep political crisis remained unresolved.

"I am continuing for one year the national emergency with respect to the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe," Mr Obama said in a statement.

The move came less than a month after Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe’s long-time and bitter rival became prime minister in a unity government.

The European Union has also said it will not lift sanctions against Zimbabwe until the new government fully complies with the terms of the power-sharing deal.

The African Union and South Africa had called for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe, following Mr Tsvangirai’s decision to join the government.

Under US law, Obama was required to inform Congress by Friday that he intended to continue the sanctions regime targeting members of the Zimbabwe government, or it would lapse.

"The crisis constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes or institutions has not been resolved," the president said in a separate message to Congress.

"These actions and policies pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States.

"For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue this national emergency and to maintain in force the sanctions to respond to this threat."

 

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
_____________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                    March 4, 2009

NOTICE
– – – – – – –

CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY
WITH RESPECT TO ZIMBABWE

On March 6, 2003, by Executive Order 13288, the President declared a national emergency and blocked the property of persons undermining democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe, pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706).  He took this action to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes or institutions.  These actions have contributed to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law in Zimbabwe, to politically motivated violence and intimidation, and to political and economic instability in the southern African region.

On November 22, 2005, the President issued Executive Order 13391 to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288 by ordering the blocking of the property of additional persons undermining democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe.

On July 25, 2008, the President issued Executive Order 13469, which expanded the scope of the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13288 and ordered the blocking of the property of additional persons undermining democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe.

Because the actions and policies of these persons continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States, the national emergency declared on March 6, 2003, and the measures adopted on that date, on November 22, 2005, and on July 25, 2008, to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond March 6, 2009. 

Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Zimbabwe and other persons to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes or institutions.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
March 3, 2009.