U.S. Threatens to Put Sanctions on Zimbabwe
Posted on Oct 20, 2008
The already confusing and highly charged situation in Zimbabwe has become more tense since Sept. 15, when President Robert Mugabe agreed to share power with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who was to assume the position of Zimbabwe’s prime minister. Since then, however, Mugabe has apparently been in less of a cooperative frame of mind, especially when it comes to assigning control over major government agencies.
But implementation has stalled over which side will control key ministries, with Mr. Mugabe unilaterally assigning his ZANU-PF party control over the military police and foreign affairs.
Mr. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, the MDC, has threatened to withdraw from the deal.
At a news briefing, State Department Deputy Spokesman Robert Wood said the United States is trying to encourage an agreement that reflects the intent of the September accord and the elections earlier this year in which the MDC won control of parliament. He would not elaborate but said additional U.S. sanctions are possible if Mr. Mugabe reneges on power-sharing.
“I am not at liberty here to talk about what sanctions we may be planning,” Wood said. “Let us just say we are very committed to seeing this process go forward in a positive way that reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people. We are obviously following these events very closely, and we are encouraging the parties to reach an agreement.
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