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EU renews sanctions on Mugabe, Grace

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Brussels — The European Union (EU) renewed for another year its sanctions against Zimbabwe, including a travel ban and asset freeze on President Robert Mugabe and his wife, according to a notice on Friday in the EU’s officials journals.

“The restrictive measures should be renewed until, Feb 2016,” the notice read. “The application of the travel ban and asset freeze should be maintained for two persons.”

Since imposing sanctions in 2002 over electoral fraud and human rights abuses, the EU has eased measure to encourage political reform in Zimbabwe, although it has kept its ban on Mugabe and his wife, Grace, as well as an arms embargo.

This week, it gave Zimbabwe $270 million in aid, its first since sanctions were imposed. An earlier this month an EU official said the 91 year old president might be allowed in on an exceptional basis during his yearlong chairmanship of the African Union, if travelling on AU business.

The official journal, however made clear EU governments were not convinced that Mugabe had changed enough to merit a final lifting of restrictions. — Reuters

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