Southern Africa: SADC Calls for Lifting Sanctions On Zimbabwe

Maputo — The Southern African Development Community (SADC)
is, once again, calling for unconditional and immediate lifting of
sanctions imposed on individuals and institutions in Zimbabwe.

“SADC is deeply concerned with the allegations that the sanctions are
focused for unilaterally punishing some individuals”, says the President of
the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and incumbent Chairperson of the
Southern African Development Community (SADC), Félix Tshisekedi, on a
message issued on Wednesday and shared with Mozambican President, Filipe
Nyusi.

According to Tshisekedi, the sanctions affect the entire country,
particularly due to a general negative perception about Zimbabwe around the
world, especially in the sensitive global financial markets.

This perception, says Tshisekedi, results in the country being unable to
attract foreign direct investment and access credit and other financial
services necessary and essential for the country’s socio-economic
development.

This is even more worrisome given the need for a quick general recovery
from the effects of at least two years of the Covid-19 pandemic that has
crippled social and economic life and is currently being aggravated by the
general increase in inflation worldwide.

Like most developing countries, Zimbabwe is particularly vulnerable to
these negative trends and the unilateral sanctions only exacerbate its
difficult economic situation.

SADC is committed to the consolidation of democracy in Southern Africa, and
Zimbabwe is due to hold its regular national elections in mid-2023.

“In this context, SADC calls on those who have imposed sanctions on
Zimbabwe to give the country’s citizens space to exercise their democratic
rights and not use sanctions as a covert mechanism to cause regime change”,
reads the document.

SADC is also committed to the spirit of multilateralism and the imposition
of sanctions against a sister nation in the family of humanity must occur
in accordance with international law.

In this regard, SADC welcomes the Report of the specialist Alena Douhan on
the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of
human rights, produced following her visit to Zimbabwe, in which she
recommends the lifting of unilateral sanctions in accordance with the
principles of international law.

Tshisekedi concludes his message by stating that “SADC fully supports the
Special Rapporteur’s conclusion that sanctions, including secondary
sanctions, and the various forms of excessive compliance by foreign banks
and companies, have had a significant negative impact on the population and
the Government, exacerbating previously existing economic and humanitarian
challenges.”

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